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Archive for the ‘drinking water and war’ Category

Water and sanitation a basic human right

SOURCE - AP File Photo
image – AP File Photo

The United Nations General Assembly has declared that each person on the planet has a right to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. World leaders in 2000 called for the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation to be cut in half by 2015 (see the Millennium Development Goals)

This relates to the almost one billion people without access to safe and clean drinking water while more than 2 billion have no sanitary means of disposing human waste. The consequence of this lack of access shows up in the high numbers of children, more than one million, who die each from water and sanitation-related diseases.

Bolivia was the country sponsoring the resolution with 122 countries voting “aye” and 41 countries deciding not to vote, to abstain, such as the United States and many Western nations though Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain and Norway supported it. The United States remains, however, “deeply committed to finding solutions to our water challenges,” but the resolution “describes a right to water and sanitation in a way that is not reflective of existing international law.” READ MORE HERE

The resolution states that “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life.”

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QUESTION TO BE PONDERED – COULD THIS ENGENDER THE NEXT WAR? OR WILL THIS LEAD US TO WORLD PEACE?

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Water

To our readers

Ensuring environmental sustainability is a goal – Goal 7 – of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Muriella’s Corner is committed to support its implementation, in partnership with all who intend to help more than one billion people release their creative energies, to help free them from the shackles of a life of continuing and overwhelming poverty.

Some of you might have noticed that water has been a recurring topic* on Muriella’s Corner and blogs. This seeming bias is due to almost three decades of work in the United Nations in the area of environment, water and sanitation.

REMEMBER TO STAND UP FOR THE ELIMINATION OF POVERTY ON

17 OCTOBER 2007

Muriella’s Corner

*These are earlier issues on water
To filter or not…
End of an era…error?
Environment and you
Water, water, ice
Tips for Travelers to the Tropics

Most of my work took me to developing countries over short and long periods, working with communities, governments and not-for-profit agencies in the drilling of wells, installation of handpumps, building of latrines.

The theme of water vibrates around the globe. In most developing countries, water quantity and water quality are main hurdles for the people. In others, water quality is the main challenge.

I have seen, first hand, the pain and suffering diseases cause to families who ingest and bathe in water populated by parasites – diseases like dracunculiasis (guinea worm), schisostomiasis,bilharziasis, and all the -isises- you can think of.

People’s lives are very affected, too ill to work, not enough time to go to school as fetching water is one of the main duties, especially of girls, and so on.

But they are forced to drink what is available, even though the source is questionable.

They have no CHOICE.

On the other hand, in the developed countries, there is no lack of water. In the quest to make the water potable, many chemicals are added. One of the most insidious is chlorine.

But, since exotic diseases are not present in the water supply, people are hardly concerned about the chemicals and as such continue to drink,shower and bathe in chlorinated water (swimming pools reek of chlorine).

Some are buying bottled water, but here again, hardly any attention is given to health issues – e.g. the water source from which the water is bottled is questionable; the plastic containers are questionable, pollution issues, the financial costs of buying a bottle of water – not enough to drink per day; no attention given to the water used for showering, bathing, cooking, etc., etc.

What is to be done?

The most important thing, we believe, is for people to know that they have a choice. Information propelled them to be users of bottled water, to choose to drink bottled water instead of tap water. But if their grasp of what propelled them is understood overall, they would also be concerned about the water used for showering, bathing, cooking.

We have prepared a comprehensive newsletter on Water with the following headings:

The Water Cure
Different types of water
Bottled Water – clear choices
Brands of Bottled Water; Filtration systems
Chlorine and cancer?
Chlorine and Asthma?
Testimony on drinking water
Discussion H2O

Given the amount of information this entails, we have decided to send it to you in short sips, so that you can click through and read the article you prefer. We recommend however that you read all of them as they will be of use to you as you make your choices.

We have also developed podcasts on water and can make them available upon request.

We will continue the focus on drinking water (quality and quantity), given the focus on this issues as Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals

-Reducing poverty and achieving sustained development must be done in conjunction with a healthy planet. The Millennium Goals recognize that environmental sustainability is part of global economic and social well-being. Unfortunately exploitation of natural resources such as forests, land, water, and fisheries-often by the powerful few-have caused alarming changes in our natural world in recent decades, often harming the most vulnerable people in the world who depend on natural resources for their livelihood.

Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
  • Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
  • Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020. (Source: millenniumcampaign.org)

For full articles and links go to this webpage

Thank you

Muriella’s Corner

bottled water vs tap water invasion of the plastics

Make your own bottled water – get a filter and save the planet from the invasion of the plastics!

We have been following this trend – read make your own bottled water and save the planet  and bottled vs tap water

Why are people continuing to spend billions of dollars on bottled water? Why are people mindlessly engaging in pollution of the planet, billions of plastic bottles each year?

Again the headlines scream –

Bottled water: A river of money

Clean water comes out of the tap for next to nothing, yet Americans spend more on bottled water than on movie tickets or iPods — a stunning $15 billion last year. Here’s a look at a booming industry’s economics and psychology.

We Americans pitch 38 billion water bottles a year into landfills — in excess of $1 billion worth of plastic. And 24% of the bottled water we buy is tap water repackaged by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Read more here

For documentary on breast cancer click here

Our cells and our cell phones

Dr Sanjay Gupta , in his health blog of September, points out that cell phones, whether turned on or off, can have an effect on sensitive medical equipment. The responsible therefore is for users of cellphones to turn them off in these areas. But, since we know that people do not necessarily adhere to warnings, especially when they might have an urgent call to make or receive, or they might even forget to turn the phone off, we believe that hospitals and services in which these types of equipment are installed, should also consider installing shields to ward of electromagnetic interference, in consideration of their role in the safety of their equipment and the patients on whom the equipment is used.

Muriella’s Corner

21 November 2007

Is there a link between our cells and our cell phones?

Would it be humanly possible for the more than 2 billion cell phones in use around the world to have some effect on our health? Upwards from about 70 million less six years ago?

Would we care or not if the effect on health is more negative than positive?

Seems that the jury are still out on this.

No one can say that cell phone usage has not improved the way we communicate The way we do business all over the world (even the most far-flung fisherman or micro-business owner) is affected and for the most part positively by access to and utilization of the cell phone.

For the cell phone to work there must be access to waves or signals. In most instances, there are cell phone towers also called “base stations,” consisting of radios, computerized switching equipment, and antennas that receive and transmit radiofrequency (RF) signals.

Cellular phones, like microwave ovens, radio waves and infrared waves from heat lamps, operate at the radiofrequency (RF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is non-ionizing radiation which is said to be harmless as there is too little energy to break the bonds that hold molecules (such as DNA) in cells together. Similarly, since radio waves of this frequency contains relatively low energy, it does not enter tissues.

Experts (epidemiologists, technical experts, the FDA) and many studies done on humans and animals conclude that there is no adverse health effect from the use of, exposure to towers or cell phones.

Yet, there are some safety measures to adhere to in the placement and positioning of towers.

Most of the studies were done before the volume of cell phones exploded to 2 billion and growing (WHO’s study was in 1993).

Most importantly, there was the conclusion, the caveat, that “cellular phone towers, like cellular phones themselves, are a relatively new technology, and we do not yet have full information on health effects. In particular, not enough time has elapsed to permit epidemiologic studies. There are some theoretical reasons why cellular phone towers would not be expected to increase cancer risk, and animal studies of RF have not suggested a risk of cancer. People who are concerned can ask for measurements of RF near cellular phone towers to be sure exposures do not exceed recommended limits.

Despite the conclusions on no effect on health of humans or animals, we are still told to be wary of where towers are placed and not to exceed recommended limits of exposure.

READ MORE

Watch 6-minute trailer for
“Cell Phone War”:

BROADBAND | DIALUP
For more information about the “Cell Phone War,”
please contact the Safe Wireless Initiative


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