Huffington Post: " South Asia's Water Woes-Is there hope?"



World Water Day is being celebrated on March 22, 2013. Even after nearly twenty years since World Water Day started in 1993, over 1000 children in India die daily from water borne diseases.

The entire world is watching India celebrate Kumbh Mela one of the holiest festivals in the Hindu calendar, which happens every 12 years. Sadly the waters of the Ganges where 30 million bathed on February 10, is neither fit for bathing or drinking. The National Geographic once described the Ganges as a septic tank, and they may be right, as the levels of fecal contamination is really jaw dropping.

I thought it would be useful to draw attention to this important event with an opinion piece I have developed with Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO’s (World Health Organization) Deputy Regional Director for the South East Asian Regional Office.

We hope this piece will generate a broader discussion on the grim situation on access to clean water and sanitation. Not only is it a future flash point for a conflict in the region as the Himalayan glaciers have begun to shrink but it is also amongst  one of the most polluted water ways in the world and causes enormous misery, morbidity and mortality to the over 500 million people that depend on these waters.  

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