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Insanitation

Reports highlight need to support clean water projects in poor countries

The failure of governments in both rich and poor countries to prioritize basic sanitation is killing thousands of children every day, according to two reports released today by WaterAid and PATH. And a third report released yesterday suggests that the global economic crisis may increase the death rate, at least in Africa. Kevin FergusonPublic toilets in the developing world are fairly uncommon. Those that are available often fall into disrepair and disuse. Above, one of the glitzier examples of public plumbing in the slums of Delhi, India. All three reports offered this constructive advice: Promote access to drinking water, sanitation, …

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'Simple' sanitation

In India, leading a lavatory revolution

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak displays a beaker of colorless, odorless, pathogen-free liquid manure distilled from human excreta. The fertilizer is created using a low-tech, five-step process that includes sand and charcoal filtering and exposure to ultraviolet rays. Methane is captured and burned as cooking fuel. Kevin Ferguson DELHI, India -- Ah, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets! How's that for a place to take the wife and kids on a Sunday afternoon? It's hard not to smirk when this museum's name is first mentioned. It sounds like a roadside attraction, something you find just a ways down the road from the …

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Glass half empty

Water too often overlooked in development efforts, U.N. report says

ISTANBUL -- Fresh water and money have one thing in common: Their mismanagement has left billions of people without ready access to either, according to policymakers, non-governmental agencies and activists attending the World Water Forum here this week. AquaFed's Gerard Payen (Courtesy U.N.) It was one of the few things all parties seem to agree on; who is responsible for that mismanagement and what should be done about it is where the attendees part ways. A United Nations report, Water in a Changing World, released here today, spreads the blame around, chiding "water sector leaders," including government ministers, private businesses …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Nor any drop to drink

Climate change and the threat to water

INSTANBUL -- The World Water Forum -- the largest gathering of water-sector public policy makers, private-sector vendors and non-profit organizations -- got underway this morning in Istanbul with a dash of glitz and a glut of gloom. "Everyday, thousands of children die as a result of complications due to consumption of unclean water," Turkish President Abdullah Gul said in opening remarks. "There is significant discrepancy and injustice between different regions and countries around the world in terms of daily water compensation." A throng 28,000 strong is attending the triennial event, including three princes, three presidents, five prime ministers or heads …

Read more: Climate & Energy