“Polluted water threatens the health of 300 million people”

By: Los Tiempos | 9/1/2016 |  (Translated from Spanish with Google Translate)

Summary

Pollution has greatly increased in the waters of Africa, Asia, and Latin America and are at risk of disease from the presence of microorganism pathogens. Cholera and typhoid are some of the deadly diseases that many millions of people are at risk. This type of pollution also threatens food production, could harm the economies of these continents and increases inequalities as access to safe water is difficult. Population growth, economic activity, expansion and intensification of agriculture and increase in the volume of untreated wastewater are the main reasons behind the increase in water pollution in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

 

Article

Africa, Asia and Latin America are in risk of contracting sicknesses due to the pollution of water. | pixanews.com

Up to 323 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America are at risk of contracting diseases due to increased water pollution in those areas of the world, he warned the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The presence of pathogenic microorganisms and pollution increased by more than 50 percent in the rivers of these three continents, especially in Asia, according to a report released.

Cholera and typhoid are some of the deadly diseases that hundreds of millions of people are at risk from lack of treatment of surface waters in these areas of the planet.

It is also a threat to food production and could harm the economies of these continents, and increase inequalities, says the study.

The pollution resulting from the presence of pathogens, whose origin is the lack of treatment of wastewater, affecting a quarter of the river sections of Latin America, from 10 to 25 percent of African rivers and half of them in Asia.

"The increasing volume of wastewater discharged into our surface waters is very worrying. Access to quality water is essential for health and human development. Both are at risk if we fail to stop this pollution," he warned scientific director of UNEP, Jacqueline McGlade.

Around 3.4 million people die each year from diseases associated with the presence of human waste in the water, such as cholera, typhoid, infectious hepatitis, polio, cryptosporidiosis, ascariasis and diarrheal diseases.

 

Figures

UNEP estimates that up to 25 million people are at risk of contracting these diseases in Latin America, 164 million in Africa and 134 million in Asia.

 

On the other hand, severe organic contamination, when large quantities of organic compounds produced are released into water bodies, affects about one of every seven kilometers of river sections of the three continents.

 

To decompose organic waste removes oxygen from rivers and lakes, which is lethal to fish.

 

Water quality in these areas of the planet is also affected by high levels of salinity, which hinder their use for cultivation and increased between 1990 and 2010 by almost a third of all rivers on three continents.

 

Main Reasons

Population growth, economic activity, the expansion and intensification of agriculture and increased volume of untreated wastewater are the main reasons behind the increase in water pollution in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

 

Citation

El agua contaminada amenaza la salud de 300 millones de personas. (2016, September 01). Los Tiempos. Retrieved from: http://www.lostiempos.com/tendencias/medio-ambiente/20160901/agua-contaminada-amenaza-salud-300-millones-personas