Our rivers, reservoirs, lakes, and seas are drowning in chemicals, waste, plastic, and other pollutants. Water pollution from industrial waste and agricultural runoff into our ecosystems poses a threat to the entire food chain as water is uniquely vulnerable to pollution. Zimbabwe experienced one of its most severe cholera outbreaks in 2008 with about 95 585 reported cases and above 4000 deaths. Contaminated water sources are suspected to be the major cause of the outbreak. According to a study published by Lancet, In 2015 alone 1.5 billion deaths resulting from water pollution were recorded.
Water Pollution In Zimbabwe
Water pollution is the result of toxic substances being deposited into water bodies such as lakes, oceans, and rivers. In addition to the damage this has on the aquatic ecosystem, the pollutants also seep through and reach the groundwater, which might end up in our households as contaminated water we use in our daily activities, including drinking.
Activities That Cause Water Pollution
Agricultural Activities including excessive nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous
Sewage & Waste Water
Radio Active Substances
Effects of Water Pollution
- Spread of diseases transmitted by contaminated water including cholera, giardia, and typhoid fever.
- Extinction of marine life: When water pollution causes the proliferation of algae in a lake or other marine environment, the introduction of recently introduced nutrients stimulates the growth of plants and algae which in turn reduces oxygen levels in the water. This lack of oxygen, known as eutrophication, suffocates plants and animals and can create ‘dead zones’ where water is essentially deprived of life.
- Causes skin-related diseases in humans