die needlessly every year.
Why is there no war on this terror?
by Shreeram Krishnaswami
"Another child will die in the time it takes to read this sentence. And the death of that child, a child who had a name and a personality, a family and a future, is a rebuke to all humanity. It is no longer necessary. It is therefore no longer acceptable."According to the video documentary, "A World Without Water," (you can watch it at the bottom of this post) "every day 3900 children die as a result of insufficient or unclean water supplies." Most of these children, under 5 years old, are dehydrated to death -- slowly, excruciatingly.
State of the World's Children -- UNICEF
According to UNICEF, "9.7 million children under five die (every year) four million in the first month of life. Most of these deaths are from preventable and treatable diseases. These children don't die from birth defects or incurable diseases-they die from infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, measles, and other causes that are almost unheard of in our own country. Undernutrition is a key factor in up to half of all child deaths." That's about 27,000 children dying a day from easily preventable or treatable causes. Their parents drown in their own tears.
Their only crime was to have the misfortune of being born on the "wrong" side of the tracks -- both globally and within their own countries. So successful has been the dehumanization of these, the wretched of the earth, that year after year the holocaust of 10 million children remains invisible and silent to those with full bellies and working faucets.
We don't allow our young children free access to money and bank accounts because we haven't yet "taught them how to manage money wisely." We fear they would fritter it away on toys and candy and perhaps do something reckless, like give some of it to friends. Literally millions of pages have been written waxing eloquent on how best to teach children responsible money-management skills.
Yet the world over, wise adults collectively spend $1.1 trillion every year on weaponry -- weapons that, by denying people food and water, kill millions every year without ever firing a shot. I take that back. As the reprehensible NRA is fond of saying, "It's not guns that kill people" without ever firing a shot. It's people who kill millions of people every year without ever saying a word.
Leading this global blood lust is the United States, where "our military spending exceeds the rest of the world's spending combined, and we spend almost 10 times what the second-place country, China, spends." (Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com). As Glenwald observes, there is a "bipartisan consensus on U.S. military spending ."
Yet a dollar a day can feed, clothe, house and educate a child. A dollar a day can prevent the death of a child who has the same right to life that you and I do.
Instead we have an annual holocaust that murders 10 million of the most innocent, vulnerable and voiceless human beings on this bloody planet. In this we are all silently complicit and all the water in the world can not wash that blood off our hands.
Can someone please explain to me why there is no war on this terror?
More Water Facts and Figures:
* 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe water, roughly one-sixth of the world's population.
* 2.4 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, about two-fifths of the world's population.
* 2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
* Some 6,000 children die every day from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene – equivalent to 20 jumbo jets crashing every day.
* At any one time it is estimated that half of the world's hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from water-borne diseases.
* 200 million people in the world are infected with schistosomiasis, of whom 20 million suffer severe consequences. The disease is still found in 74 countries of the world. Scientific studies show that a 77% reduction of incidence from the disease was achieved through well designed water and sanitation interventions.
* The average distance that women in Africa and Asia walk to collect water is 6 km.
* The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is the equivalent of your airport luggage allowance (20kg).
* The average person in the developing world uses 10 litres of water a day.
* The average person in the United Kingdom uses 135 litres of water every day.
* One flush of your toilet uses as much water as the average person in the developing world uses for a whole day's washing, cleaning, cooking and drinking.
* Comparative costs: In Europe $11 billion is spent each year on ice cream; in USA and Europe, $17 billion is spent on pet food; in Europe $105 billion is spent annually on alcoholic drinks, ten times the amount required to ensure water, sanitation and hygiene for all.
* In the past 10 years diarrhoea has killed more children than all the people lost to armed conflict since World War II.
* In China, India and Indonesia twice as many people are dying from diarrhoeal diseases as from HIV/AIDS.
* In 1998, 308,000 people died from war in Africa, but more than two million (six times as many) died of diarrhoeal disease. ...