Women represent the majority who are impacted by water scarcity
- Digital Journal
A new study from Northwestern University provides a new snapshot of global experiences relating to water insecurity. The study draws on anthropology to provide a more holistic measure to understand the impact of water scarcity upon millions of people. This used data that are more comparable across time, infrastructure, climates, and cultures.
The research is of particular application to parts of Latin America, Asia and Africa that have experienced severe droughts and unprecedented floods throughout the past twelve months. Across the various low-to-middle-income countries, the research, led by anthropologist Sera Young, considered it is estimated that 436 million of 3 billion adults are water insecure.
In many cases, people were found not to have enough water, being unable to wash their hands, or having to change what they ate because of problems with water. According to Young: “These data bring a human face to the water sector, thereby revealing life-altering problems with water that have long gone hidden.”
The study reveals that 14.2 percent of the populations covered were classed as ‘water insecure’. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, such as Cameroon (63.9 percent) and Ethiopia (45 percent), experienced the highest rates of water insecurity, while countries in Asia like China (3.9 percent) and Bangladesh (9.4 percent) were the least likely to experience it.