How climate change impacts water scarcity in Africa

Food security – Personal Hygiene & COVID – Waterborne illnesses – Threat to children’s education

In the last 50 to 100 years the temperatures over Africa have increased by at least 0.5°C. According to the 5th IPCC Assessment Report Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change. It has been prognosed that land temperatures over Africa will rise faster than the global average, particularly in the more arid regions such as Madagascar.

It is likely that extensive areas of Africa will exceed the 2°C temperature increase by 2080, when compared to the average temperature of the late 20th century. Depending on the climate scenario utilised in the modelling of predictions, temperatures may even rise by 3°C to 6°C by the end of this century.

Climate change will increase water stress to vulnerable agricultural systems

These factors combined threaten food security, human health and human safety. Food security is understandably directly linked to agricultural crop yield, but you may ask yourself how is human health linked to climate change? Human health will be weakened by factors which are directly linked to climate change.

Decreased food security accompanies malnutrition, to which children are especially vulnerable. Further, lack of access to clean water means that waterborne illnesses are more likely to occur, in addition, the people are not able to practice good hygiene to protect themselves against other pathogens, such as COVID-19.

Lastly, if there is no reliable source of clean water available, children’s education is threatened, as they may be required to walk far distances to collect water daily.

All of these factors come together and lead to a threat to human security. Lack of food security and access to clean water are known drivers of conflict. Aggravation of the current state, where many people are already struggling to nourish their families has the potential to result in an outbreak of violent conflict.

This is the reality of the effects of Global Warming and Water Scarcity

2.1 Billion people

Worldwide, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services, over 11 million of these people live in Madagascar (WHO/UNICEF, 2015, 2017)

Every 15 seconds

Every 15 seconds a child dies from a preventable water borne disease such as diarrhea, cholera and typhoid (UN, 2018)

200 Million hours

Worldwide, 80% of water scarce households appoint women and girls to fetch water. They spend 200 million hours per day fetching water (UN Water, 2018)

Providing solar powered water desalination installation to give 20.000 Liter of water a day

It has been shown that sustainable water management developed under consideration of the emerging climate change risks make regions more resilient. This is why the Elemental Water Foundation mission is so important to us. Providing access to a reliable and affordable source of clean drinking water, which is powered by renewable energy, means that we are helping communities improve their health and their safety.

If you would like to support our mission follow the link below to donate any amount you are capable and willing to contribute.

Support our Project in Tsifota – Madagascar

Donations turn into Fresh Drinking water using the Sea & Sun


All information on climate change and its effect on Africa is sourced from:

Niang, I., O.C. Ruppel, M.A. Abdrabo, A. Essel, C. Lennard, J. Padgham, and P. Urquhart, 2014: Africa. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Barros, V.R., C.B. Field, D.J. Dokken, M.D. Mastrandrea, K.J. Mach, T.E. Bilir, M. Chatterjee, K.L. Ebi, Y.O. Estrada, R.C. Genova, B. Girma, E.S. Kissel, A.N. Levy, S. MacCracken, P.R. Mastrandrea, and L.L.White (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1199-1265.

Water desalination Unit
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