Of importance to all Africans. Click here to read The DATA Report 2006.

Kind regards and Be Well


UPDATE 8 AUG 2006: 

I wanted you all to know that Afrigadget has been mentioned in DATA’s despatches.

One year later, DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa) published its annual report, providing a country-by-country analysis of the G8’s commitment in debt relief, AIDS treatment and prevention, development assistance and trade. Although links can be found at some blogs, like AfriGadget, there is considerably less commentary on the DATA report from the general blogging community. Interested bloggers and readers can find the full report, conclusions and recommendations at the DATA Report site.” 

It proves that there is still much to do in terms of bringing Africa’s problems to the attention of the rest of the world, so will you please start mentioning Africa and Afrigadget in your blogs or on the forums whenever you deem it appropriate to do so.

Even better link back to this post here at Afrigadget and to DATA


Make your own drill and sandpaper machine

Make your own drill and sandpaper machine

Instructables holds some very good DIY projects such as the drill and sander machine made from:

Drilling and Sanding Machine

(1) motor
(2) wire
(3) switch
(4) 9v battery
(5) a piece of plywood
(6) a piece of PVC pipe
(7) Formica glue
(8) sandpaper
(9) Drill pin
Go here to learn how to make your own sanding and drilling machine

Water scarcity

Water scarcity
About one-third of the world’s population lives in countries suffering from moderate-to-high water
stress — where water consumption is more than 10 per cent of renewable freshwater resources. Some 80 countries, constituting 40 per cent of the world’s population, were suffering from serious water shortages by the mid-1990s (CSD 1997a) and it is estimated that in less than 25 years two-thirds of the world’s people will be living in water-stressed countries (CSD 1997b). By 2020, water use is expected to increase by 40 per cent, and 17 per cent more water will be required for food production to meet the needs of the growing population (World Water Council 2000a).

The three major factors causing increasing water demand over the past century are population growth, industrial development and the expansion of irrigated agriculture. Agriculture accounted for most freshwater withdrawal in developing economies in the past two decades. Planners have always assumed that growing demand would be met by taming more of the hydrological cycle through building more infrastructure. The damming of rivers has traditionally been one of the main ways to ensure adequate water resources for irrigation, hydropower generation and domestic use. About 60 per cent of the world’s largest 227 rivers have been strongly or moderately fragmented by dams, diversions or canals, with effects on freshwater ecosystems (WCD 2000).

This infrastructure has provided important benefits in the form, for example, of increased food production and hydroelectricity. There have also been major costs. Over the past 50 years, dams have transformed the world’s rivers, displacing some 40-80 million people in different parts of the world (WCD 2000), and causing irreversible changes in many of the ecosystems closely associated with them.
Emphasis on water supply, coupled with weak enforcement of regulations, has limited the effectiveness of water resource management, particularly in developing regions. Policy-makers have now shifted from entirely supply solutions to demand management, highlighting the importance of using a combination of measures to ensure adequate supplies of water for different sectors. Measures include improving water use efficiency, pricing policies and privatization. There is also a new emphasis on integrated water resources management (IWRM), which takes into account all the different stakeholders in water resource planning, development and management (CSD 1997b).

Access to safe water and sanitation

Access to safe water and sanitation

Some 62 per cent of Africans had access to an improved water supply in 2000. Even so, rural Africans spend much time searching for water and 28 per cent of the global population without access to improved water supplies live in Africa. Women are particularly affected as they are often responsible for the family’s water needs. Urban areas are better supplied, with 85 per cent of the population having access to improved water supplies. In rural areas, the average is 47 per cent, with 99 per cent of the rural population in Eritrea having no sanitation coverage. The total African population with access to improved sanitation was 60 per cent in 2000. Again, urban populations fared better, with an average 84 per cent having improved sanitation compared to an average 45 per cent in rural areas (WHO and UNICEF 2000).

Poor water supply and sanitation lead to high rates of water-related diseases such as ascariasis, cholera, diarrhoea, dracunculiasis, dysentery, eye infections, hookworm, scabies, schistosomiasis and trachoma. About 3 million people in Africa die annually as a result of water-related diseases (Lake and Souré 1997). In 1998, 72 per cent of all reported cholera cases in the world were in Africa.

Poor water supply and sanitation lead to contamination of surface and groundwater, with subsequent effects on plant, animal and human communities. The economic costs can be high. In Malawi, for example, the total cost associated with water degradation was estimated at US$2.1 million in 1994 (DREA Malawi 1994). These costs included the need for water treatment, the development of human resources and reduced labour productivity. Meeting basic water and sanitation needs is also expensive. In Nigeria, a recent study estimates the future cost of water supply and environmental sanitation to be US$9.12 billion during 2001-10 (Adedipe, Braid and Iliyas 2000).

Governments are trying to improve the situation with environmental management policies that include waste management and urban planning, and by making environmental impact assessments compulsory for large projects. One of the major regional policy initiatives was the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action, which urged member states to formulate master plans in the sectors of water supply and agriculture (OAU 1980). The Plan was influenced by the 1977 United Nations Water Conference’s Mar del Plata Action Plan and the 1978 African regional meeting on water-related issues. Despite these initiatives, a lack of human and financial resources, and equipment for implementation and enforcement, still limit progress.

Sludge disposal in Cairo
A study launched in Cairo in 1995 has shown that wastewater treatment can address not only the Egyptian city’s water pollution problems but also open new opportunities for business and agriculture. The Greater Cairo Wastewater Project will produce about 0.4 million tonnes of sludge or biosolids annually from wastewater treatment.

The study was initiated under the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme funded by the European Investment Bank and promoted by the Cairo Wastewater Organization. Initial results show that sludge can be effective in growing wheat, berseem clover, forage maize and grape vines. Digested sludge offers significant nitrogen fertilizer replacement value to farmers; no harmful effects of biosolids on crops were detected in field trials; and the benefits of spreading biosolids on newly reclaimed soils are expected to increase with cumulative applications. Farmers in Egypt are prepared to pay for bio-solids due to the scarcity of manure and the high costs of inorganic fertilizers.

Source: UNCSD 1999