It is a well-known fact, with many supporting reports and studies done, that the lack of basic infrastructure in sanitation has a great impact on the quality of water in most of Africa’s water systems. Some metropolitan areas have adequate sanitation and water purification systems, whereas rural communities (even those close to water sources) has limited to no access to safe drinking water. 

The diagram above describes the general classification of the quality of the South Africa’s river system.

To a large extent, this river system provides the water for drinking, food preparation, bathing,  cleaning and sanitation for rural communities. Many rural communities do not have access to clean water, even though they may have access to a treatment plant.

The lack of infrastructure and clean drinking water poses health risks to many people all around Africa. Waterborne diseases are a “known killer” in developing countries. Without access to clean water, people have no choice but to drink from contaminated rivers and lakes, causing diarrhea, which is a known cause of death for specifically African children.