Dirty water kills more people than war. That’s according to findings presented by the United Nations Environment Programme ahead of World Water Day this week. The water crisis has spread drastically, as many around the world lack the resource. And according to the U.N., polluted water causes the deaths of around 2.2 million people each year.
A columnist for OnEarth Magazine says on top of a lack of clean drinking water and an inadequate drainage system, residents of Nairobi, Kenya have to use “flying toilets”– plastic bags discarded after use. But she says solving these problems is easier than many would think: “The global water, sanitation and hygiene crisis is solvable with solutions that are available today. Solutions that include hand-dug wells, harvesting rainwater to use for drinking, protecting springs, water filtering and water purification and building safe latrines.”
In the UK, protests are underway to have Parliament do more to help the global sanitation crisis affecting places like Kenya. Prince Charles says solving the water crisis can only be done through nature, rather than depending on technology: “We are far more likely to succeed in slowing down, coping and adapting to climate change if we work properly in harmony with nature to build ecosystem resilience and reduce our economic vulnerability by looking at how we use the land, as well as how we use technology.” (Voice of America).
According to a writer for The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia is also struggling to maintain its resources. She says steps need to be taken immediately to conserve water for the country and the people that inhabit it:
“Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world and we must continue to treat fresh water as a valuable resource… Investments such as lining water channels and re-engineering water storages would yield huge dividends…”
A representative for the Water Advocates tells the Pulitzer Center although efforts have been made abroad, he hopes the U.S. government will do more to get involved: “Everyday around the world, 260,000 new people get water access for the first time. So something is being done currently. I think what we saw today is that there will hopefully be in the coming years, a quantum leap of activity from the private citizen sector and from the United States government.”
Are you doing your part to preserve the earth’s water supply? If not, in a video for World Water Day, National Geographic wants you to heed the following warning.
Writer: Victoria Uwumarogie
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