Access to basic needs is a global issue affecting over half the world population.
Basic needs include such things as clean drinking water, food, shelter, sanitation, healthcare and many more things that are not readily accessible to billions of people. The reasons for this lack in access are mainly poverty, corruption, market & government failures, lack of infrastructure, and harsh environments.
Other everyday tasks are made difficult, time-consuming, and costly because the information needed and certain products and technologies are not disseminated in developing regions such as Africa.
The affect of the access problem results in being a huge barrier to development, socially and also economically.
Almost 2.1 billion people on this planet do not have access to safe drinking water.(1) Every day thousands of people die from the effects of unsafe drinking water, mainly children under 5 in Africa from Diarrhea, totaling to a staggering 2.5 million deaths per year.(2) Many others waste time collecting water, spending proportionately too much money on expensive clean water, and are unproductive as the result of sickness or dehydration.
Current access-to-energy solutions in developing countries rely on expensive, highly polluting, fossil and biomass fuels creating a large amount of health & safety issues. The majority of the household energy use goes into cooking and lighting, where lacking or unreliable electricity access leaves them with the only alternatives of wood or coal fireplaces and kerosene lamps which generate dangerous fumes and fire hazards.
Social interaction, communication and curiosity all have one thing in common, the need for information. What we can already see in the developed world is that when the barriers to communication fall the growth of information dissemination is only limited by our capability to process it.
In the developing world, people have the same need for information but the barriers are only now just being overcome. A good indicator for this is the growth of the mobile phone market in Sub-Saharan Africa which is the fastest growing market in the world, now with already over 650 million phone subscribers. Other services such as Internet and Mobile Banking have already grown rapidly.