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I was reading through the Unicef press release this week (see below) which had been produced to coincide with World Water Day, which was on Tuesday. It discussed how the Millennium Development Goals, launched in September 2000 to tackle extreme global poverty, had resulted all but 663 million people around the world having drinking water from improved sources (which are supposed to separate water from contact with excreta). That’s quite a feat, isn’t it?
Feeling pleased, I continued reading, then got to the bit which says that an estimated 1.8 billion people may be drinking water contaminated by e-coli, (meaning there’s faecal material in their water). Some of the contaminated water is from the ‘improved sources’.
I went back and read it all again.
I live in a hard water area and I won’t drink any tap water that hasn’t been filtered and boiled. Despite having one of those electronic water softening devices supposedly working away 24/7, I’ve lost the battle against the limescale that shortens the life of my appliances and creates scum on some cups of tea.
Who am I to make a fuss when there are almost two billion people drinking water that’s contaminated with faeces?
Can you imagine having to do that, or having to live without a proper toilet, as tens of millions do?
Unicef is warning that it’s going to get worse – despite all the hard work individuals and companies are putting into improving sanitation; which means we all have to continue to work together to build on the great work that’s been carried out over the past 15 years.
The cleaning and hygiene industry is doing its bit to improve sanitation and reduce the amount of water and chemicals needed to clean, as well as to reduce the volume of water and flushing frequency for urinals and the amount of flush water required by WCs. There are also companies using sewage sludge to produce heat and power – which again saves valuable resources – and you can read about one such project below.
I know cleaning & hygiene isn’t glamorous, but as I often tell people, we are actually saving lives, aren’t we?
The long Easter weekend’s coming up. Whether you’re lucky to be travelling anywhere for a short break, staying at home or working through, do try and stay safe!
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24th March 2016