Many Sahel countries in Africa are expected to nearly double their population by 2030 due to high fertility rates. Meanwhile, since 1970 in Bangladesh, which has a similar religious context and other shared development challenges as the Sahel, the fertility rate declined from 6.3 to 2.3 births per woman and the rate of contraceptive users increased from 7% to 62.4% in 2011.
Despite having the mighty Congo River—the third largest in the world—along its entire Eastern border, Congo lacks a proper water infrastructure; as a result nearly three quarters of Congo’s urban population has no access to clean water. Congo’s Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics requested the World Bank’s help to reform and encourage private sector investment in the water sector.
Improving water quality and access is an important objective for the Central African Republic—one of the poorest nations in Sub-Saharan Africa. To deliver service to the nearly 75 percent of urban populations who rely on shallow wells and poor-quality water for their daily needs, the government requested assistance from the World Bank.
Most West African farmers need to reduce their reliance on the region’s erratic rainfall patterns if they want to increase crop yields and diversify from traditional commodity production. A number of low-cost technologies for small-scale private irrigation, such as treadle pumps and manual well-drilling equipment, have been tested in West Africa, but financial, regulatory, and communications obstacles have limited their widespread use.