"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Water and Urbanization

Today, one in two people on the planet live in a city. 93% of the urbanization occurs in poor or developing countries, and nearly 40% of the world’s urban expansion is growing slums. Between 1990-2001 the world’s slums increased at a rate of 18 million people a year, and is projected to increase to 27 million new slum citizens per year between 2005-2020.

 In Benin, coastal urbanization is due primarily to the large industrial and tertiary sectors in Cotonou. The urbanization of Cotonou is ALARMING! The city, with approximately 750,000 inhabitants, is the only viable area for urbanization and has expanded rapidly.

The effect of urbanization on the quality of water is disastrous. When areas are urbanized, much of the vegetation and top soil is replaced by roads, parking lots, and pavement. Therefore, the rainfall must be collected by sewers that send the water runoff into local streams. Urbanization is contributing to a major sanitary crisis in urban areas. And in many poor areas and urban slum settlements, the dismal state of sanitation has been the cause of cholera outbreaks.

Urbanization occurs when increasing number of settlements show the following characteristics:  large population size or density, economic characteristics, and urban infrastructure.

Water running off of areas such as roads and parking lots can contain a lot of contaminants, such as oil and garbage. Many urban areas have come to rely on groundwater and nearly one-third of the global population relies in groundwater as the source of drinking water. But the problem is that this water is contaminated with toxics used in the agriculture, pesticides, nutrients, heavy metals, and hydrocarbons.

"The challenge of urban water management is multifaceted, but includes a lack of freshwater sources within feasible proximity to sustain water demand in many cities, especially the growing number of ‘megacities.’ The population density and intensity of economic uses of urban water also lead to water quality degradation that is often most critical in urban settings." (usaid.gov)

We need CLEAN WATER FOR A HEALTHY WORLD! Contaminated water is killing babies and children everyday. 884 million persons do not have access to water and drinking water. Worldwide 1,5 million children die each year from diarrheal illnesses that are caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene.

Dirty water kills more people than wars and other violence! (UNEP) Almost all dirty water produced in homes, businesses, farms, and factories in developing countries is washed into rivers and seas without being decontaminated.

This includes 2.2 million people whose deaths are attributed to diarrhea, mostly from dirty water, and 1.8 million children aged under five who succumb to water-borne diseases. This equates to one infant every 20 seconds.

If the world is to survive on a planet of 6 billion people heading to over 9 billion by 2050, we need to get smarter about how we manage wastewaters," Achim Steiner, UNEP's director, said in a press release. "Wastewater is quite literally killing people."

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