Tag Archives: Sanitation

Amusing Monday: World Water Day inspires photos and videos

World Water Day, coming up on Wednesday, is an annual event first established by the United Nations in 1992 to focus on the importance of freshwater and to encourage actions to provide clean drinking water while reducing water-borne illness around the world.

This year’s theme, waste water, was formulated into a question that creates a double meaning. It can be either “Why waste water?” or “Why wastewater?” The first question emphasizes the water-supply issues associated with World Water Day. The second emphasizes the closely related health aspects of sanitation. For a serious discussion of these two questions, listen to the talk on YouTube by Guy Ryder, director general of the International Labour Organization and chairman of UN-Water.

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World Water Day raises personal, technical issues

Water is the basic building block of life on Earth. Thankfully, it seems that water is in plentiful supply in most places in our country. Because of our vast water and sewer systems, it is easy to overlook the fact that nearly 1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water and that 2.6 billion people do not have access to a sanitary toilet. We may not know that thousands of people die every day, not from the consequences of war but because of dehydration and diseases caused by lack of sanitation.

From UN photo galleries

Learning about those issues is what the United Nations World Water Day is all about, as stated in a message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon:

“Our growing population’s need for water for food, raw materials and energy is increasingly competing with nature’s own demands for water to sustain already imperiled ecosystems and the services on which we depend…

“The theme of this year’s World Water Day, ‘Clean Water for a Healthy World,’ emphasizes that both the quality and the quantity of water resources are at risk. More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war. These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential.”

Check out the UN photo galleries.
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Amusing Monday: A lighter side of World Water Day

Today is World Water Day, designated by the United Nations to reflect on the critical importance of water in the world and to recognize the billions of people who lack sanitary conditions.

World's longest restroom line

I’ll post another blog entry at noon today about the serious problem, but I wanted to share a few of the lighter and artistic elements brought to World Water Day.

The first thing is a Web site that asks you to join the world’s longest line to use the restroom, or “toilet queue,” as it is called. This interactive site asks people to select an avatar and a slogan in support of sanitation and clean water. The line has been growing rapidly the past few days. Simply go to the World’s Longest Toilet Queue, and click on “join the queue” to add your name to the list or create you own list of friends and colleagues.

I was also impressed with photo galleries created from pictures submitted to the United Nations’ World Water Day Web site by people from around the world. I was amused by the photo below, which shows a man collecting water bottles on a pushcart, but other ones elicit a variety of emotions.

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