(Updates with population growth in third paragraph. )
Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- African water companies lose as much as $800 million a year, or about 35 percent of total production, because of leaks, fraud and unpaid bills, according to the African Water Association.
As much as 50 percent of the water produced in some African nations is never accounted for, Sylvain Usher, the secretary- general of the Abidjan, Ivory Coast-based group, said Oct. 30 in an interview in Abidjan. The organization collects data on 100 private and government utilities in 40 African nations.
Africa’s population will rise 66 percent to 1.2 billion people by 2050, putting a strain on the world’s poorest region, which is already struggling to meet water and sanitation metrics set by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Most of the waste is because of aging equipment and poor management of facilities, Usher said. Utilities need to use more meters and improve reading of the existing ones to reduce costs, he said.
“Rampant urbanization is driving governments to try to extend their infrastructure, but they aren’t replacing existing equipment,” Usher said.
--Editors: Andres R. Martinez, Antony Sguazzin, Karl Maier