Serious Matter

    South Africa, As do the rest of Africa, faces a water management crisis. Examples of the problems Africa faces are: Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. With population numbers in these countries like 135 million (Nigeria), 30 million (Uganda), 40 million (Kenya) and 77 million (Ethiopia), the scope of the water problem is staggering.

    What is truly heartening however is that OWS truly has economical, efficient and environmentaly friendly products.

    Water And Health

    The ingestion of contaminated water can lead to a variety of illnesses including cholera, typhoid and dysentery. Up to 2.1 million deaths a year due to diarrhoeal diseases are attributable to the ‘water, sanitation and hygiene’ risk factor, 90% in children under five. The malnutrition that accompanies diarrhoeal disease places millions more at greater susceptibility to death from other diseases.

    A child dies every 15 seconds from water-related diseases. This amounts to nearly 6000 deaths every day, the equivalent of 20 Jumbo jets crashing.

    In 2000, the estimated deaths due to diarrhoea and other diseases associated with water, sanitation and hygiene were 2,213,000.

    Waterborne diseases cause illness. For example, more than 200 million people worldwide are infected by schistosomiasis, causing 20,000 deaths a year; 88 million children under 15 are infected each year with schistosomes (bilharzia).

    The supply of adequate quantities of water is important for household and personal hygiene. Disease can be spread through contaminated food and person-to-person contact. For example, trachoma is spread by flies, fingers and clothing coming into contact with infected eyes, especially among young children. It is common in areas that are hot, dry and dusty and where there is not enough water for people to wash regularly. It is the main cause of preventable blindness in the developing world, with six million people already permanently blinded.

    (Source: WHO and UNICEF 2000)