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Like A Daydream
Thursday, 30 July 2009
crucial factor

My home is exceptionally hot. While friends are telling me about the breeze they got only through opening windows, we have to have the air conditioner on most of the time. I admit I’m also not very tolerant to heat, but it’s a physical matter, can’t be fixed. Friends who have been to my home may notice I have a big water barrel to collect the water runoff from the air conditioner. About once every few days, I would need to drain the big barrel of water. Most likely I am pouring out tens of litres of clean water on each disposal.


I must say these days I feel awful every time I do that. For me and many of my friends, we wouldn’t go near this water because it does not feel hygienic. It’s condensed by a machine part, and drained through a pipe we don’t regularly clean. However, I know, when I pour away the water, that it’s really as clean as you can get even comparing to water from our mains. In fact, condensed water is pretty much pure water, may be more pure than mineral water.


Yet here it is again, some numbers:


1. In 2006, waterborne diseases were estimated to cause 1.8 million deaths each year while about 1.1 billion people lacked proper drinking water.

2. According to the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) more than one billion people in low and middle-income countries lack access to safe water for drinking, personal hygiene and domestic use. These numbers represent more than 20 percent of the world’s people.

3. In Africa, with more than 700 million people, only forty-six percent of people have safe drinking water.

4. The more populous Asia Pacific region with over three billion people, eighty percent of whom with access to drinking water, still leaves over 600 million people without access to safe drinking water.


These are numbers I grabbed from wikipedia, not necessarily the most reliable, but the truth is, it’s not going to be very far from the truth. And by the way, some people manipulate some numbers for their gain. I don’t know who would gain from manipulating these numbers.


And what is the insight from this?


People are actually dying.


I am always amazed at how we measure what’s really really urgent. I hear people talking about “Global Warming” a lot these days. And yet there is no real tally on the death on “Global Warming” because it’s a projection of what might happen. But nobody seems to preach the clean water issue even though every year around 1 million people died from it, or 1 billion people are facing toughest about it. And yet Governments around the world focus on something else that is not proven, spend fortunes on it. It’s not as if once “Global Warming” is solved at the same time the 1 million people would not die.


The reason is simple. Clean Water remains a poor people’s problem. “Global Warming” is definitely a rich people/middle class issue. You and I are going to have unlimited amount of water to drink and bath in (think about the plants you have to water, the jacuzzi you would bath in, or the swimming pool you would soak yourself in, think of the car you have to wash but you didn’t wash often enough).


1 million people could die each year, but since we don’t see them, that’s fine. However, if sea level rises and we have to move (or, God forbid, our property value drops, no way, you can’t allow that!), well, our Government must do something! The great North Vietnam General Vo Nguyen Giap once said, “Every day in the world a hundred thousand people die. A human life means nothing.” I suppose that really justify our viewpoint towards the Clean Water issue.


And until now, I still have not a clue how to transfer the water I pour away every few days to those people in need. Quite frankly, I think I am responsible for a lot of water lost: the office I work in, the transport I ride in, etc. And if every person on this planet could pass that quantity of clean water, in the state it was in that barrel, to another person in need, we’d be able to solve this problem so easily, right? Like a daydream.


Oh, and by the way, stop buying bottled water.

4 out of 5 Stars!
Simeon Pang
04, September 2009
I fully agree. For far too many people around the world, the availability of clean water is a very serious problem. And it's not just people in third world countries. Do you remember a few years ago what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans? Even in the USA clean water can be a hard to get. Take a look at this video: and this is the website of the subject: It is very interesting and offers a solution that is not just a daydream! Simeon
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