Many of us may recall this tummy-turning-triumph from 'Slumdog Millionaire.'
While this scene was inspiring, shocking and funny all-in-one, the reality is that our hero pictured above would actually qualify young Jamal as a privileged youth among those with access to a latrine. According to water.org, "only 14% of the rural population has access to a latrine."
The World Bank "estimates that 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water." A 2005 report displayed the massive disparity between the "29000 million litre per day of sewage India generates through (industry, agriculture and households)- and a treatment capacity of mere 6000 million litre per day."
A 1992 World Health Organization study is claimed to have reported that out of India's 3,119 towns and cities, just 209 have partial sewage treatment facilities, and only 8 have full wastewater treatment facilities. Many people use the same water for bathing and drinking everyday. While India is home to 16% of the population, it only has access to 4% of the Earth's supply of fresh water.
What are some possible world and individual solutions?
- Partner with organizations who fund and produce both sewage treatment and wastewater treatment facilities in India. http://water.org/solutions/ is a good resource for ethical
- Clean up the beaches, creeks and rivers. Have fun in the sun and help the planet at the same time.
- Avoid plastics. They are a well known water pollutant. Buy a reusable metal jug that'll last you a lifetime, or at least a couple years.
- Keep healthy soil. Fertilizers and pesticides pollute local bodies of water.
- Get involved- Alert the FDA and write company owners to make them aware of any illegal dumping of chemicals into nearby water.
- Remember we're all in this together. Do your part to keep your local waterways pollution free and you'll proliferate the health and vitality of the aquatic ecosystem.
- Ride your bike whenever the opportunity presents itself. The emissions from your car are toxic.