Friday, October 28, 2011

How Water Tanks and Clean Water Combat Disease

There is tremendous risk associated with drinking contaminated water, and homes that don't get safe water are at greater risk. Far too many rural areas do not have any access to plumbing, clean water and sanitation. In most cases, cities and rural communities are not well educated in managing their precious sources of usable water.

A prime example is Bangladesh, where half of the water in 12 million tube wells is contaminated because they were not dug to suggested depths. Either the Bangladeshi Government was not aware of this required depth or did not properly supervise the installations. The death toll because of arsenic poisoning is catastrophic.

Drinking arsenic-contaminated water may not kill you, but it will make you seriously ill. The threat of arsenic poisoning exists all over the world because of contaminated water sources. Across 70 countries, some 140 million people have been affected.

These numbers alone prove the necessity of checking the world’s water sources in order to prevent senseless injuries and even deaths. All pipes, plumbing systems and reservoirs need to be checked on a regular basis. In developing countries, millions have been spent on related water projects.

Even though there haven't been any reported deaths in Bangladesh, the government needs to act now to make sure this doesn't happen. Reports suggest that Bangladesh has already received foreign aid to help fix the problem. Sadly, it appears the government has not yet taken action.

There are more serious cases in other parts of the world. Many children under 5 have died in developing countries because of water related sicknesses. All over the world, 90% of all deaths from water-related diarrhea occur in children who are too weak to resist the infection since they have not been eating enough.

Statistics suggest that 769 000 children below the age of 5 died from diarrhea in Africa between 2000 and 2003. Shockingly, many of these deaths could have been prevented by placing a clean water tank in the village. To compare, only 700 children under 5 died from the same illness during that period in developed areas.

Death by diarrhea can be reduced by a quarter if clean water supplies are introduced. In developed countries, drinking water is stored, treated, and distributed properly, thereby reducing cases of diarrhea by 39%. The ideal situation would be if all nations could do this.

The major problem globally is that human fecal parasites infiltrate the water system which leads to contamination and sickness. This news is definitely hard to swallow. The figures speak for themselves - in 2006, 1.1 billion people did not have healthy water, and 1.8 billion died from water-related sickness.

Deaths could be prevented if access to clean water was improved. For very little money, Water Tanks, filters, and purifiers can be placed to save lives. More than one homestead can benefit from efficient water treatment and distribution schemes.

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