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Daily hunt for water affects millions of Africans

Published:Tuesday | March 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM
n this photo taken Sunday, March 12, 2017, a girl Abuk walks home with her brothers and friends after collecting clean water from a point four kilometers away from her home, in Aweil, in South Sudan. (AP)


More than five million people in South Sudan do not have access to safe, clean water, compounding the country's problems of famine and civil war, according to UNICEF. Even those South Sudanese who can find water spend much of their day hiking, fetching and carrying the containers of the precious fluid that is essential to life.

Today, World Water Day, nearly 27 million people do not have access to clean water in Somalia, South Sudan, northeastern Nigeria and Yemen. In total, about 12 per cent of world population lacks clean drinking water, and water-related diseases account for 3.5 million deaths each year, more than car accidents and AIDS combined, according to the World Water Council.

In Africa, 319 million people, representing 32 per cent of sub-Saharan Africans, don't have safe drinking water.