3 ways to give Africa's growing cities the water they need

a woman carries a container of water

The service gap between the provision of water and the growing urban population is widening. Image: REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Aklilu Fikresilassie
Director, Thriving Resilient Cities, WRI Africa
Betsy Otto
Global Director, Water, WRI
Rogier van den Berg
Director, Urban Development, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
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a picture of the Dechatu river burst its banks
In 2006, the Dechatu river burst its banks and flooded Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, destroying homes and property. Image: Photo by Dawit Fisseha of Reuters/Alamy
a picture of woman walking through floodwater
Unplanned urban expansion and more frequent floods will undermine the security and well-being of urban dwellers across Africa. Image: Photo by Daud Yuffuf of Reuters/Alamy
a chart showing the service gap between the provision of water against the population
Supply doesn't meat demand. Image: World Resources Institute
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Nature based solutions can benefit Africa's planning for climate change. Image: World Resources Institute
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A woman waters her wilting crops in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, during a prolonged drought in 2020. Image: Photo by Philimon Bulawayo of Reuters/Alamy
a picture of Kibera, Nairobi
In Kibera, Nairobi, the Kibera Public Space Project — a 2020 WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities finalist — implemented strategies to upgrade water, sanitation, drainage and waste services, and reduced the flood risk for 8,000 families. Image: Photo by WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
a picture of a lake
Thousands of smallholder farmers in Nairobi, Kenya have helped implement soil-retention and water conservation practices upstream of the city’s drinking water supply. Image: Photo by 2014CIAT/Georgina Smith/Flickr

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