Urban use

In addition to small-scale use of groundwater in rural areas, there is pronounced use in many urban centres. The large cities that are groundwater-dependent in SSA are shown in Fig. 5.4. Even in cases in which groundwater is a small fraction of total water use, it represents a stable source of water, which is one of its important characteristics, particularly in dry years. In addition to the large afsa

Ouargla ... Cairo

Beni Abbes Siwa



Dakar £ a0aCBarnakjO À Niamey Màiduguri K .'Mek^

Kindly 'BolgaVga* Ndjamena J W

Obuasi Cotonou Addis Ababa


Abidjan Lome^j *Banguii \ M^dishu

Kampaf^ * Greater -Port Gentil ^ Nakuru


Port Sudan

Port Sudan f

Cities in Africa dependent on local/distant groundwater

Benguela Nclola

Lusaka ' Majunga

Bulawayo Windhoek

Walvis Ba^ Serowe -Toliara

Maseru MaPuto


Fig. 5.4. Groundwater-dependent cities in SSA. (From UNEP, 2003.)

cities shown in Fig. 5.4, there are several urban centres that depend on groundwater which are not included in this map. Many small towns are dependent on groundwater for water supply. This is the case in Burkina Faso (Obuobie and Barry, forthcoming) and in Botswana's so-called minor villages. In South Africa about 105 towns depend entirely on groundwater (Tewari, 2002). It is generally accepted that many people in SSA depend on groundwater for drinking water supply. However, the actual number of people using groundwater for this purpose is unknown (see UNEP, 2003, p. 3). The fact that urban use is widespread shows that it is not as much a question of availability and accessibility and economic feasibility as it is of economic means and political decision and will to develop it.

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