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The Realities Of Water Poverty

Mar 3, 2008
A large part of the Earth's surface is covered by water but did you know that it amounts to almost 70%? The interesting fact about this is despite the copious tons of water; only 1% of it is pure and fit enough for human consumption. Worse still, this precious resource, essential to life, is being contaminated by man or affected greatly by global warming.

There are 1.2 billion people globally who do not have access to this most fundamentally essential hydrant and an estimated 2.5 billion who, due to poor water supplies, lack adequate sanitation.

In the Western world, the population is fortunate that their wealth has provided them with the facilities, technology and finance to ensure, not only that clean drinking water can be accessed in every home by the turn of a tap, but that the association between water, health and sanitation are recognized. For those who want to pursue optimum health, it can be taken further by the installation of water filters and water coolers. The provision of fresh, cool healthy water is taken for granted.

Most of the people who are very much less fortunate, can be accounted for in Africa and the Far East, living in poverty and often governed by governments who do not have the resources to change the plight of their people or whose corruption does not include bettering the lives of their people. In cities with their exclusive penthouse apartments and office tower blocks serviced by running water and water coolers, the lifestyles of the people outside the cities, living in poverty, fighting disease caused by poor sanitation and dying of dehydration and starvation, are incomparable.

Disease and sickness in early childhood, caused by poor sanitation and drinking unclean water are responsible in the Third World for impaired physical and mental health, malnutrition and very often, early death. The quality of human life is under threat by growing populations, water pollution and global warming, causing crop failures and transmitting water-borne diseases. Poorer countries need financial and sometimes technical support for speeding up the process of action towards the goals. These include sanitation and hygiene as well as water.

Entire communities can be stricken with illness when hygiene is compromised. The communities who drink and wash with contaminated water are regularly attacked by outbreaks of cholera and typhoid. Hepatitis A and E, meningitis and polio are also spread in this way. It is estimated that approximately 4 billion cases of diarrhea a year cause 1.8 million deaths, more than 90% of them among children younger than five years old.

In order to combat this enormous global problem, some organizations have set up systems which bring water into affected communities. They build toilet facilities and public bathhouses to keep communities hygienic as well as decontaminating wells and boreholes and piping water from clean springs and other natural sources into village and farming communities.

This is all very different from the safety of being able to turn on a tap in the home or drinking from water coolers guaranteeing fresh, cool, safe water. There is still much to do in order to ensure this very basic of essentials reaches all corners of the globe, in the effort of reducing the appalling health and living conditions of millions of people.
About the Author
Anna Stenning is an expert on water coolers, and understands the importance of drinking safe, clean water for a healthier lifestyle. For more on water filters and home devices click on http://www.pure-eau.co.uk/
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