African rivers are polluted by the development of the textile industry on the continent. It is NGO Water Witness who sounded the alarm in a report published on August 17 and which is based on case studies in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Lesotho.
Wastewater emissions are the most important source of pollution in the textile industry according to Water Witness, but also the most dangerous for the population. In Tanzania, where the river Msimbazi, which crosses the capital Dar-Es-Salaam, would present a rate of chromium 6, a component of fabric dyes, 75 times higher than the legal limit with risks of cancer and malformation.
In Lesotho, residents report that the rivers have turned blue jeans. In question, a non-existent or poorly applied legislation on wastewater discharges and the lack of infrastructure to treat it.
High water consumption NGOs also point out overconsumption of water in the sector, as according to the report, about 200 liters of water are needed to make one kilo ready to carry in countries where access to water for the population is already problematic.
More and more major clothing brands are outsourcing the manufacture of their clothing to Africa, attracted by tax incentives and cheap labor. According to Water Witness, Africa exports $ 4 billion a year ready to carry to brands such as Adidas, Etam or Levis. However, if the report cites these marks, it does not directly implicate them or establish direct links between them and polluting websites.
►Also read: the report Water Witness