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Last Updated: Friday March 03 2006 16:51 GMT

Africa 'faces big water shortage'

Child drinking water

Africa faces more droughts and could have 25 per cent less water by the end of the century, scientists have warned.

The study predicted that changes to rainfall patterns mean many of Africa's rivers and lakes could run dry by 2100, meaning serious water shortages.

Areas in southern and western Africa are thought to be most at risk, according to climate experts.

Researchers predict water shortages could encourage nations to argue over rivers that cross borders.

The amount of rain a continent like Africa gets has a direct effect on its water supply and the people living there.

Rain shortage

Child drinking water

The University of Cape Town study backed other research which found that climate change will have a huge impact on Africa.

Rain shortages have already caused lots of problems there, and climate scientists are trying to predict how global warming will change rainfall patterns across the continent.

In East Africa, up to three million people face starvation this year because there hasn't been any rain there for months


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