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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Profiteers at counter purposes with human need peddle cells, not privies

Sudanese woman
carries water home

Baffling (or is it?): Why Third World under-developing countries remain underdeveloped ─ or worse
Re-reporting, editing, brief comment by 
Carolyn Bennett

Canon of profiteers: profit at all costs holds back human progress

ix billion of the world’s seven billion people have mobile phones. But only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or sanitary latrines, the United Nations reported on World Water Day March 22. 

Woman in Northern India
bathes at public pump
Dehumanizing human beings

Some 2.5 billion people, mostly in rural areas of Asia and Africa, have no access to proper sanitation. In the twenty-first century, 1.1 billion people have no choice but to defecate in the open.

“Let’s face it,” UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson says, “this is a problem that people do not like to talk about. But ─

It goes to the heart of ensuring good health, a clean environment and fundamental human dignity for billions of people – and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

eview: the eight UN Millennium Development Goals for 2015:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

Woman seeks water
from karez at
Piskandi Village
Northern Iraq
Developing countries never develop

But nearing 2015, countries of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, some 20 countries, account for more than 80 percent of the global problem of open defecation. These countries have the 
  • Highest incidence of death among the under-five-year-olds;
        • High levels of malnutrition and poverty; and
      • Large disparities in wealth

Women and girls are hardest hit. Lack of sanitation is particularly detrimental to women and girls, the UN reports. Women and girls who have to leave their homes to find a place to urinate or defecate are vulnerable to sexual violence. The lack of toilets in schools impedes girls’ access to education.

What if corporate canon changed?

The head of one non-governmental organization, WaterAid, which focuses on water and sanitation, said, “Few interventions would have greater impact on the lives of women and girls than addressing the health problems caused by poor sanitation and hygiene.”

Little girls carrying watercross rice field
after heavy rains
The United Nations says investing in good sanitation is a good investment. Such investment “produces a good return: Every dollar spent on sanitation brings a $5.50 return by keeping people healthy and productive.”

pproaching 2015, the United Nations reports, however, that the target in the MDGs of at least halving the proportion of people without access to sanitation ─ and this is a small order, achievable but for countering profit motives  ─ has “far to go.”

This means that the goal will not be achieved without a change in ethos and canon, political will, change of heart. A conviction that all of us are Africa and Asia and their well-being is our well-being,  that we are not islanded and apart. 
Delivering water in

No land an island no people apart.

Surely, I am not the only person who believes this ─ that we can do better if we alter the course of our thinking and acting, our sense of being among peoples coexisting in world society. I think the United Nations tries in a variety of special days, celebrations and conferences to help us sense this “oneness.”

This year has been designated “International Year of Water Cooperation.” Friday March 22 was “World Water Day.”

Sources and notes

“More people have mobile phones than toilets – UN” (AlertNet, Lisa Anderson), March 22, 2013, http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/more-people-have-mobile-phones-than-toilets

UN Millennium Development Goals

In September of the year 2000, leaders of 189 countries met at the United Nations in New York and endorsed the Millennium Declaration, a commitment to work together to build a safer, more prosperous and equitable world.

The Declaration was translated into a roadmap setting out eight time-bound and measurable goals to be reached by 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals

Eight UN Millennium Development Goals for 2015

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

For more information, please visit: www.un.org/millenniumgoals

The United Nations reports that the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water has been met but

The target to halve the proportion of people without access to sanitation still has “far to go.”

A call to action issued by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson aims at a 2025 goal of improving hygiene, better managing of   human waste and waste-water, and eliminating the practice of open defecation.

“Ending open defecation,” says United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) deputy executive director Marin Mogwanja, “will contribute to a 36 percent reduction in diarrhea,” a condition that kills three quarters of a million under-five-year-old children every year.”
World Water Day March 22

World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).  The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating March 22, 1993, as the first World Water Day.

ach year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water and is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water. http://www.unwater.org/water-cooperation-2013/events/world-water-day/en/

2013 International Year of Water Cooperation

In December 2010, following the proposal initiated by Tajikistan [a country lying in the heart of Central Asia, bordered by Kyrgyzstan on the north, China on the east, Afghanistan on the south, and Uzbekistan on the west and northwest] and submitted by a group of countries, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 ─  the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation (Resolution A/RES/65/154).

he United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was appointed by UN-Water to lead the preparations for both the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation and the World Water Day, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and with the support of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the UN-Water Decade Program on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the UN-Water Decade Program on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC).

UN-Water called upon UNESCO to lead the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation in view of the organization’s multi-dimensional mandate in the realm of natural and social sciences, culture, education and communication, and its significant and long-standing contribution to the management of the world’s freshwater resources. http://www.unwater.org/water-cooperation-2013/water-cooperation/en/


UNESCO Béatrice Petit, Aerial view of Assouan dam Egypt water coop 2013

© Dale Lightfoot, 2010, Woman seeking water from the karez at Piskandi Village in northern Iraq....
© UN Photo/Milton Grant, A young woman pumps water from a well in the lowlands area of Eritrea.
© UN Photo/Tim McKulka, A Sudanese woman carries water home in a plastic container.
Delivering water in Sudan - All rights reserved, Uploaded on Feb 15 2013
© Kate Holt: During the drought last year many people died. Eyanai, a young boy, et.al  ...
UN Photo/Martine Perret, Little girls cross a rice field after heavy rains carrying water in plastic containers.


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


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