The Smell Of Rain

For those living in developing countries the smell of rain means the end of hot, dry and dusty days, and heralds the onslaught of months of welcome rainfall, irrigating the parched land.

However, the arrival of the rainy season can also pose a health threat as the abundant ground water often becomes contaminated and can lead to a lethal outbreak of cholera. A lack of access to clean and safe drinking water still exposes many to the danger of waterborne diseases.

In Zimbabwe up to 70% of the population rely on groundwater, and for many it is their primary source of water. Yet rural populations often build their latrines near boreholes, and burst sewers in crowded cities mixing with household water supplies can lead to a rapid spread of disease.

There is a desperate need for better management of water sources, and charities such as WaterAid enable people to manage their water sources effectively, in order to make the most of the short rainy season. It is not just the importance of irrigating the crops, but requires essential training in protecting the water supply that could save lives.

Water, the source of survival for us all can be a mixed blessing.

Today is the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, essential work that could save millions in emergency response costs – see the gallery on the Guardian website.

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Published in: on October 14, 2009 at 5:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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