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India to get $ 3bn aid from World Bank for Ganga cleaning projects

October 16, 2009 Leave a comment

NEW DELHI: Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said that India is soon expected to get an aid of 3 billion dollar from the World Bank
for preparing projects to clean the river Ganga.

Ramesh said this after attending the first meeting of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the national capital.

“We are hopeful of clinching an agreement with the World Bank, as the President of the World Bank will visit India in December. The preliminary indications from the World Bank are very positive,” Ramesh said.

“Discussions between Environment and Forest Ministry and the World Bank are proceeding very rapidly and we are likely to get 3 billion dollars very soon for preparing projects under what is called the project preparation facility under the World Bank,” he added.

The government had earlier constituted NGRBA, under the Environment (Protection) Act as an empowered authority to adopt a new holistic river basin approach to the cleaning of the river Ganga and address the issue of minimum ecological flows, besides pollution abatement works.

The meeting decided that the on-going sewage treatment projects would be put on fast track and states will formulate projects for critical pollution hotspots and major towns near river Ganga and its tributaries by November 30, 2009.

“By 2020 mission the objective is that no untreated municipal sewage and no untreated industrial effluents will be allowed to flow into river Ganga without full treatment,” Ramesh added.

The central and state governments will also provide an estimated Rs 150 billion for the initiative over the next 10 years.

Industrial discharges, sewage, pesticides and the rotting remains of dead bodies have increased pollution levels in the river over the years despite government promises to clean-up country’s most sacred river.

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Categories: WATER CRISIS

The world water crisis

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

The world water crisis is one of the largest public health issues of our time. Nearly 1.1 billion people (roughly 20% of the world’s population) lack access to safe drinking water. The lack of clean, safe drinking water is estimated to kill almost 4,500 children per day. In fact, out of the 2.2 million unsafe drinking water deaths in 2004, 90% were children under the age of five. Water is essential to the treatment of diseases, something especially critical for children.

This problem isn’t confined to a particular region of the world. A third of the Earth’s population lives in “water stressed” countries and that number is expected to rise dramatically over the next two decades4. The crisis is worst in developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The world water crisis is created by a confluence of factors including climate and geography, lack of water systems and infrastructure, and inadequate sanitation, something that 2.6 billion people (40% of the world’s population) lack access to. Some of these countries have additional problems, including high levels of arsenic and fluoride in drinking water.

Many women and young girls in rural areas in Sub-Saharan African and other parts of the world must trek as much as six miles everyday to retrieve water for their families. Due to this manual labor, such women and children are prevented from pursuing an education, maintaining their households or earning additional income.

Thus, the lack of clean water, coupled with the lack of basic sanitation and a dearth of hygiene education, is one of the largest obstacles to progress and development in these regions and across the world. The UN has prioritized water access among its millennium development goals because it contributes to such widespread suffering, including increased poverty, high child mortality rates, depressed education levels, and political instability. Without question, the world water crisis condemns billions of people to a perpetual struggle to survive at the subsistence level,thus inspiring millions to engage and alleviate this problem. Join us. Get involved today.

Categories: WATER CRISIS