In South Africa the scarce fresh water is decreasing in quality because of an increase in pollution and the destruction of river catchments, caused by urbanisation, deforestation, damming of rivers, destruction of wetlands, industry, mining, agriculture, energy use, and accidental water pollution.
What are the main causes of water pollution in Africa?
Agriculture plays a major role in water contamination. Farming results in the release of large quantities of organic matter, agrochemicals, sediments, and drug residues. The use of fertilizers and excreta at farms cause nitrates and phosphates to enter bodies of water, leading to eutrophication.
How bad is water pollution in Africa?
Contaminated water and inadequate sanitation help transmit diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery and typhoid. In Africa, more than 315,000 children die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.