Report: Clothing Production Killing Africa Rivers as Water Scarcity Surges
Water Witness International’s new report suggests the clothing sector is competing with local communities and nature for access to scarce water in Africa and that in some cases, factory needs are prioritised over the human right to water.
It is now urging immediate adoption of good water stewardship across the sector, factory certification against best practice standards, and transparent disclosure of performance on water are urgently needed so that responsible businesses can be differentiated.
According to the report, pre-pandemic, fashion exports generated revenue of US$4.6bn a year, a figure which exceeds the annual flow of aid into Africa from any European donor. Africa now has an important toehold in the global fashion industry that in 2019 was worth US$2.5trn and employed 75m people.
While Africa recognises the clothing industry’s important role in its social and economic progress, concerns are growing around the scarcity of its water resources.
Photo courtesy of Ron Kroetz.