This is the VOA Special English Development Report.
The United Nations Development Program says the world is facing a water
crisis. It says each year, more than 2 million children die from diseases
caused by unclean water. Most of these deaths are from diarrhea and other sicknesses caused by unclean
water polluted by human waste.
The warning is in this year's Human Development Report, released by the U.N.
agency on November 9. Kevin Watkins is the lead writer and head of the Human
Development Report office. He says these deaths could be prevented with clean
water and toilets. The report also finds that almost half the people in
developing countries suffer from health problems due to unclean water and lack
of waste removal systems.
Mister Watkins says the crisis in health care also reduces economic growth in
many developing nations. The report says more than 100,000 million people in the
world do not have clean water and sanitation.
The Human Development Report proposes a three-part action plan to help solve
the crisis. First, Mr. Watkins say that governments need to take action to make
water a human right. He says national legislation is needed that provides
citizens with the right to twenty liters of water a day.
Second, the action plan calls on each nation to spend more on water and
sanitation. It proposes that each nation spend at least one percent of the value
of all the goods and services the country produces. Third, the plan calls for
increased international aid. This would require an additional 400,000
million dollars a year, or two times as much international aid, in the next ten
Mr. Watkins says the world is not running out of water. The crisis is not
because of scarcity. He says there is about the same amount of water in the
world every year. The real problem, he says, is the governance of water.
Governments need to think of water as a limited, valuable resource. The report
also urges governments to consider fairness, equality and social justice when
supervising water. Mister Watkins says the poorest people and those with limited
land rights are the first to lose their ability to get water.
And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss.
To read our reports and download audio, go to voaspecialenglish.com. I’m Shep