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Managing urban waters in Africa: challenges ahead

Cape Town's current water crisis should be a wake-up call to improve urban water services across Africa.

URBAN DESERT: An upmarket shopping mall in Sandton, Johannesburg. In 1960, the populations of Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa were 8.1, 45.1 and 17.4 million, respectively. By 2017, the corresponding figures were 44.7, 190.9, and 56.5 million.

URBAN water and wastewater management have been unsustainable in all developing countries for centuries. The situation in African countries started to deteriorate post-1960 for many reasons. First is the population growth. In 1960, the total population of Africa was about 285 million. By 2017,...