Cabo Verde Sustainability Issues

The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Cabo Verde:

  1. Poverty

Cabo Verde does not have many natural resources, and only 10% of the land can sustain crops. This makes the nation vulnerable to poor economic growth. The national poverty rate in Cabo Verde fell from 37% to 27% between 2003 and 2008, according to the World Bank, and the extreme poverty rate went from 21% to 12%. 


  1. Malnutrition

Today, the nation has a population of approximately 500,000. Around 20 percent of the population consists of children between the ages of 10 and 19. According to Lancet Global Health data, 60.5 percent of youth have anemia, a very low level of red blood cells. This is often a symptom of malnutrition. Moreover, 21.4 percent of children under the age of five are malnourished.


  1. Water

The land and water supply in Cabo Verde is adversely affected by insecticides, pesticides, and fertilization. In 2000, about 74% of the population had access to safe drinking water. A resource still almost untapped is an estimated 80–90 million cu. m of underground water, but the investment required to exploit it would be very large in relation to Cape Verde’s resources. 181 million cubic meters of annual rainfall is lost through surface erosion but could be captured or stored by means of adequate measures.


  1. Energy Crisis

Cape Verde or Cabo Verde is made up of 10 islands, nine of which are inhabited, that lie about 600km west of Senegal. Almost all of the islands’ 550,000 residents have access to electricity, but about one-third still rely on firewood and charcoal for cooking. Cape Verde’s per capita electricity consumption of 727 kWh per person per year is substantially higher than the sub-Saharan Africa average of 488 kWh per person per year. But electricity prices are high. They range from US$0.26 – 0.32 in recent years compared, for example, to an average of US$0.13 for residential homes in the US. As part of its “sustainable energy for all” agenda, it has pledged to obtain 100% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025.


  1. Education

In 2015, the male population aged 15 years and older had a literacy rate of 91.69 percent, while the female population had a rate of only 82.04 percent. The policies of the island nation widen the gender gap in education. The gross enrollment ratio for primary education for males in 2015 was at 101 percent while for females it was at 94 percent; of all females that qualify for primary education, only 94 percent enroll.