Over the years, there have been calls on African governments to prioritize the provision of water and sanitation facilities to enhance good health, but the results are mediocre. More often than not, the projections of water provision by most governments in Africa, especially the sub-Saharan region has become mere lip service.

World Water day was commemorated on the 22nd of March in the mist of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic currently plaguing the world, and the question is how prepared is Africa to combat this pandemic if hit hard? From weak health systems to informal economy and poor water and sanitation coverage, how would Africa survive?

Water for Rural Africa (WRA) wishes to call on governments of sub-Saharan Africa to reflect on the need to address issues of water provision earnestly going forward. Political leaders must as a matter of urgency, learn from this pandemic and come to the realisation that, water infrastructure remains to be one of the top most priorities  that a government must treat with utmost alacrity.

It is common knowledge that, water is life, therefore, for humanity to move forward and develop, water provision should form the basis of every economy. The positive cyclical effects of water on the development of a nation cannot be exaggerated. A healthy nation is a prosperous nation.

One of the surest way to battle the COVID-19 is to wash hands with soap under running water and keep to strict personal hygiene, but how can one keep up with these without adequate supply of water? A Kenyan epidemiologist Nelly Yatich on Aljazeera, asked a very pertinent question that cannot be said to be new. He said, “You are telling people to wash their hands, but what about those that don’t have access to water?” This is a common phenomenon in almost all African countries especially is crowded suburbs with poor settlements and rural areas. And with no buffer solutions, places with adequate water may begin to experience water shortage due to frequent washing of hands which is certainly going to increase beyond the average water consumption.

From the inception of the COVID-19 health emergency, the WHO had warned of the risk that it could blow-out to countries with weaker health systems, including sub-Saharan Africa, where poor sanitation facilities, the proliferation of informal economy and urban crowding pose further challenges in the exertions to combat the highly infectious disease.

WHO further warned that Africa should prepare for the worst. This can only mean one thing, all hands must be on deck if Africa must succeed in battling COVID-19.

All must adhere to WHO protocols as well as government instructions in the fight against COVOD-19

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