The recent Human Development Report 2006 states that a staggering 1.1 billion people in the developing countries do not have adequate access to clean water, whereas an astounding 2.6 billion people lack basic sanitation. The report suggests that every person requires a minimum of 20 litres of water every day 'for respecting the human right to water.'
The report also talks about viable solutions in terms of basic pit latrines compared to which connecting the household to a modern sewerage system would cost almost twenty times more. It further affirms that there is a direct correlation between improved sanitation and reduction in child mortality by at least 30%. In Peru for example, there was a reduction in the cases of diarrhea by 50% when it had a pit latrine and by 70% when the household had a flush toilet. The reason for this being that it helps in breaking the chain of faecal-oral transmission which is one of the prime reasons for majority of the public health problems.
The report clearly indicts the distorted priority of nations. It is high time that some of the global spending on pseudo-development & the resultant propaganda is used for meaningful social development, which would restore lives and livelihood of not just some privileged thousands, but also millions others.