Day 1 Environment Issues in Africa EQ: What environmental issues does Africa face? How do they affect the population?
Environmental Issues Africans face many different types of environmental issues –Lack of water –Poor soil quality –Expanding deserts Much of Africa has trouble having enough water for people to live.
Explain how water pollution and the unequal distribution of water impacts irrigation, trade, industry, and drinking water. Many countries in Africa do not have enough clean water even though they have large rivers. The Nile River runs the length of Egypt and most Egyptians live along its banks. The river is used for water and transportation, however, overpopulation and poor sanitation regulations have made life along the Nile more difficult. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8iuyaS16-c&feature=related
Polluted water-Unfit to drink What is polluting the water? 1. Pesticides and fertilizers 2. human waste (no $$ for water treatment plants) 3. Manufacturing byproducts from industry 4. Oil spills
Nearly half of the patients in African hospitals are there because of unclean drinking water. As many as 1 million children die yearly from contaminated water. QUESTION: How would that impact the economy? By reducing the current and future workforce (can’t work when you are laid up in the hospital, right??)
More about Polluted Water Untreated sewage from the Mirongo River flows into Lake Victoria and from the city of Dar es Salaam goes directly into the Indian Ocean, making coastal beaches unfit for swimming. QUESTION: How would that impact tourism? No one wants to spend the money to vacation here!!
What are humanitarian organizations doing to help? 1. Providing clean drinking water 2. Rebuilding infrastructure (sewers, water treatment) 3. Ongoing problem: as population increases, available clean water decreases. 1.
Water War? Many who study this region believe Africa is headed for a “water war”. The Nile River runs through Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt and they all have growing populations and growing needs. The Niger River supplies the dry Sahel area before flowing into Nigeria. As more water is drawn for the Sahel, less is available down the river. Clean water is needed for basic health and sanitation and those who are not able to have access to it are at risk for many diseases. Lack of clean water to wash with also increases the frequency of skin and eye infections. Some people in Africa also face the problem of water borne diseases spread by parasites living in standing water. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xel82kovCgI&feature=related
borehole drilling: A deep hole drilled into the ground to extract natural water resources.
Explain the relationship between poor soil and deforestation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Sahel is an area of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. It is an example of how poor farming practices and the destruction of trees and shrubs can lead to an expanding desert. Centuries of farming and grazing along with less rainfall have gradually damaged land in the Sahel. Millions of people struggle to farm in its poor soil.
Deforestation is the destruction of trees and other vegetation. This continues to be a problem in the Sahel and elsewhere in Africa. Animals have been allowed to graze too heavily in an area and strip all the vegetation from the soil. People who need fuel, need timber for houses, want to sell timber for profit, or who hope to be able to clear new farmland cut down the trees that help hold the soil in place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq2UHiyYwLo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyR9HPAtFGc&feature=channel
Droughts, or periods of little rainfall, have hurt the Sahel, too. The people who live in these areas often face starvation and poverty. Many move into urban areas hoping to find work, but most only find more poverty. In recent years, the UN and the World Food Bank have come to the aid of those living in parts of the Sahel. They have worked to find solutions to help the people survive and live a better life. Video #1 - East Africa Drought in 2006 Video #2 - Drought in East Africa
Explain the impact of desertification on the environment of Africa from the Sahel to the rainforest The Sahel is one part of Africa that is experiencing severe problems with desertification, the process of the desert expanding into areas that had formerly been farmland. As the land is overused, the soil becomes poor and powdery. The winds coming from the Sahara gradually blow the dry topsoil away, leaving a barren and rocky land. Periods of drought have made this situation worse. As the desert expands, people are less able to grow food to feed themselves. In the Sahel, however, a majority of the desertification is the result of the actions of people, deforestation, rather than climate.
–Another place where rapid desertification is happening is East Africa. –In Ethiopia, people who have lived for generations by farming and raising grazing animals like sheep and goats are finding they have less and less land available to them. –The Kalahari Desert is a desert that covers part of the southern tip of Africa. –The people around this desert face the same problems. –Pressure from increasing populations, the need for fuels like firewood and brush, and the constant grazing of animals have worn away soil and introduced desertification. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGGctK4aWGg&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DrZMo03OS0&feature=related
Less than 50% of the population in sub- Saharan African has access to safe drinking water from environmental pollution. This has caused a decrease in the country’s economic growth. Some governments ignore industrial pollution of major rivers and waterways because they want their industries to make more profits.