Skip to main content

Water and sanitation takes a back seat for many nations

Even as the world's deadline for the achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) approaches in 2015, countries are not making water and sanitation a priority, which in turn impacts other developmental goals like health and education.
Between 1997 and 2008, aid commitments for sanitation and water fell from eight per cent of total development aid to five cent per cent, according to the latest UN-Water Global Annual Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) report.

"Neglecting sanitation and drinking-water is a strike against progress. Without it, communities and countries will lose the battle against poverty and ill-health," Maria Neira, World Health Organisation Director of Public Health and Environment said.

The study found that improved access to sanitation and water produces economic benefits that range from USD 3 to USD 34 per USD 1 invested, increasing a country's gross domestic product (GDP) by an estimated two per cent to seven per cent.

In a report released last week, the UN found that far more Indians have access to cell phones than to a toilet and basic sanitation.

"It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones, about half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet," Zafar Adeel, Director of United Nations University's Canada-based think-tank for water said.

"Popular education about the health dangers of poor sanitation is also needed. But this simple measure could do more to save lives, especially those of young people, improve health and help pull India and other countries in similar circumstances out of poverty than any alternative investment," he added.

Another UN report released in March, Sick Water, found that the sheer scale of dirty water means more people now die from contaminated and polluted water than from all forms of violence including wars.

"Unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and the lack of hygiene claim the lives of an estimated 2.2 million children under the age of five every year. Of these deaths, 1.5 million are due to diarrhoea, the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease," Neira said.

"The impact of diarrhoeal disease in children under 15 is greater than the combined impact of HIV and AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis," she added.

Another report released last year by the WHO and UNICEF found that India has the largest number of persons around the world (665 million) that defecate in the open.

The joint study stressed the need for hygienic sanitary practices to combat diarrhoea, the second greatest killer of children after Malaria.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Facebook Tests a New Feature To Let Users Enjoy Events Togather"

Facebook is testing a new feature to let users share events that they are interesting in attending to, on their "Stories" so that they can coordinate with friends and enjoy events together.

According to a TechCrunch report, the test will involve a new option to "Share to Your Story" that appears when you visit an event's page on Facebook.

"If shared, friends will see a tappable sticker within your Story that includes the event details and lets friends respond that they're also 'interested' right from the Story itself," the report added.

Friends also can tap on the sticker in the Story to visit the event page.

"There's also a link to the event page built in and a way to start a group chat on Messenger with friends who responded," said The Verge.

The test is currently rolling out to users in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

To use the new test feature, go to the Events page, click "Share" below the date and time of the eve…

Sudan Restricts Social Media Access to Counter Protest Movement

Since last year Internet freedom in Sudan declined due to a crippling economic crisis that made access to ICTs prohibitively expensive for everyday users. The government also exerted increasing control over the online sphere by arresting online journalists and activists and introducing new restrictive laws and also blocking access to social media used to organise nationwide anti-government protests triggered by an economic crisis.


Sudan has been rocked by near-daily demonstrations in the past over two weeks.

In a Northeast African country where the state controls traditional media, the internet has become an important information battleground. Of Sudan’s 40 million people, about 13 million use the internet and more than 28 million own mobile phones.

According to local media, about 13 million of Sudan’s 40 million people use the internet.
Hashtags in Arabic such as “Sudan’s_cities_revolt” have been widely circulated from Sudan and abroad. Hashtags in English such as #SudanRevolts have…

Largest Spike in Hate Crimes Since 9/11, Says a Report

The number of hate crimes reported in the United States jumped by 17% last year, the largest increase since 2001 when the terrorist hijackings on 9/11 fueled a surge in attacks on Americans of Muslim and Arab ancestry.

A total of 7,175 hate crime incidents were reported to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016, said the UCR Program's annual Hate Crime Statistics report, Xinhua reported.

It's the third year in a row the FBI has reported an increase in hate crimes. The number of hate crimes in 2016 rose about five percent from 2015.

The 2017 incidents encompass 8,437 total offences, meaning some involved multiple criminal charges.

According to the report, the most common bias categories in single-bias incidents were race/ethnicity/ancestry (59.6 percent), religion (20.6 percent), and sexual orientation (15.8 percent).

The victims represented a cross section of society, with African-Americans and Jews the most frequently targeted victims. Of 34…