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Drinking Water and Sanitation - Research Paper Example

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The need for safe drinking water and proper sanitation is paramount to achieving the basic standard of living. The need to achieve this goal is especially important in developing countries in Africa and Asia where people live in extreme poverty. …
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Drinking Water and Sanitation
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Download file to see previous pages The lack of safe drinking water has led to a number of diseases and deaths, especially among infants. A number of goals have been set over the years with various ten year milestones. These milestones have been beset with various challenges. However, there has been some amount of success. Various strategies including the promotion of breast-feeding to reduce mortality in infants have been used as a means of dealing with the effects of the problem. Introduction Drinking water and sanitation are two important factors in the lives of human beings. Water is required not only to drink but also for personal hygiene, the preparation of meals and to ensure that our surroundings are clean. Some people do not have access to piped water and therefore depend on other sources such as rivers and streams. This water is not treated and in a number of cases is exposed to various factors in the environment. Among these factors are the way we carry out various activities including disposal of industrial and household wastes. In addition to that, there is the problem of inadequate and improper sanitary conveniences which also have implications for the supply of safe water. Over the years a number of goals have been set. However, they have not been fully realized due to various challenges that affect these efforts. Previous Goals and Achievements The period 1981 – 1990 was designated as ‘The International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade’ by the United Nations (Cairncross 1992). During that period the aim was to increase the supply of water and hygienic toilets so that more people especially the poor could have access to these necessities (Cairncross 1992). A number of organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank were involved in this effort. Since then the drive for the improvement in the quality of life has continued as some of the targets were not achieved. In fact, Cairncross (1992) points out that a lot more needs to be done in order to facilitate efforts to make safe water and proper sanitation available to all people. Risk of Inadequate Drinking Water and Sanitation The problems that arise from inadequate drinking water and poor sanitation are far greater than the problems of war, terrorist attack and weapons of mass destruction but they receive less attention (Bartram et al, p. 810). The lack of proper sanitation and waste disposal facilities can lead to waterborne diseases including malaria, schistosomiasis and legionellosis (WHO). This is a serious problem as it results in the death of approximately 3900 children everyday and therefore threatens the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs) (Bartram et al 2005). The developing countries are more at risk as microbial organisms which cause diseases are normally found in drinking water in these areas (Ashbolt 2004). The situation is worst in places like Africa and Asia where a substantial portion of their people live in conditions of extreme poverty. Sequelae and mortality are the result as the body becomes less capable of providing immunity against diseases that are endemic (Pond 2005). Diseases associated with the intestines are generally more severe because of the high levels of mal-nutrition as well as the non-existence of strategies in these countries to deal with these types of problems. The traditional methods of filtration and chlorination continue to be used. However, these are not 100% effective as there are some chlorine resistant pathogens (Ashbolt 2004). The Millennium Development Goals According to Bartram et al (2005) 40% of the world population does not have access to a pit latrine and almost 20% do not have access to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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At first, I thought 3 of pages is too much for such a issue. But now I see it could not be done better. As the author starts you see the depth of the issue. I’ve read all at once. Perfect text
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