Every bathtub that I saw in Africa did not have a shower. It had a sprayer that had a hose that led back to the side of the faucet. There was a hanger on the wall for... in every case that I saw the hanger had been long broken, and the sprayer lay in the bottom of the tub. If you fill the tub while leaving the sprayer laying in the water, you can get a siphon effect fairly easily. This draws dirty water from the tub back into the water supply. It's irrelevant where that water came from, it could have been triple distilled, it's now contaminated. This sort of setup is illegal in the united states for that very reason. There were thousands of other problems like this. Now imagine that your city had this sort of problem... ALL of the plumbing would have to be replaced... from the well to your faucet. The whole thing. How could you fix that? Now imagine it's an entire continent... and now you have a grasp of the size of the problem.
Where in Africa did you see this? I live in Africa (near Cape Town), born in Zimbabwe, I have visited Tanzania, Rwanda, Namibia, Lesotho and nowhere have I seen the plumbing contraption that you refer to.
Africa's problem over the last several decades has been loss of intellectual and managerial power in the transition from white colonial rule to self-rule. The continent had a fair bit of light industry and a decent agricultural industry but those have largely failed due to the previous white owners either fleeing or being thrown out*.
* Which is why Zimbabwe is a joke and South Africa is teetering on the precipice.
As a born and bred ZImbabwean and now resident and citizen of South Africa, I think I am qualified to comment on these statements.
In Zimbabwe, the failure and collapse of that country was caused by abuse of power and corruption. No amount of transfer of
intellectual and managerial power
would have prevented that from happening against the background of a despotic government desparately clinging to power and using whatever means (election fraud, destruction of the independence of the judiciary, abolishment of free press, etc.) to achieve that.
In spite of what right-wing newsmongers might want you to believe, South Africa is not even vaguely near to
teetering on the precipice.
Yes, we have challenges with respect to crime, unemployment, corruption, education and I am under no illusion as to the scale of these challenges. We still have a very free press, the judiciary is still widely respected (recent court decisions having been made against the wishes of the ruling party) and the economy has been relatively stable through the global recession.
We will be hosting the world's largest sporting spectacle this year, the FIFA World Cup, in less than three months time. Expect to be pleasantly surprised at what Africa will showcase to the world.
"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN