Water Pollution Puts Over 300 Million at Risk
More than 300 million people in Africa, Asia and Latin America are at risk of life-threatening diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
The reason: Pollution of water in rivers and lakes.
These are findings in a report from the United Nations Environment Program, also known as UNEP.
Viruses, bacteria and other microscopic organisms increased pollution in more than half of rivers across the three areas between 1990 and 2010, the report said. UNEP officials said long-lasting toxic pollutants like fertilizer or petrol increased during that period. Levels of salt rose in nearly one-third of the waterways.
The report listed population growth and expanding agriculture as two of the main reasons for the increase of surface water pollution. Another reason was an increased amount of untreated water containing waste products. In all, UNEP said, 323 million people were at risk of infection.
Dietrich Borchardt, the lead writer of the report, spoke to the Thomas Reuters Foundation. "The water quality problem at a global scale and the number of people affected by bad water quality are much more severe than we expected," he said.
But a large number of the rivers in the affected areas are still in good condition and need to be protected, Borchardt noted.
Disease-causing pollution was a problem in almost 25 percent of rivers in Latin America, the UNEP report said. Between 10 and 25 percent of the rivers in Africa were affected, as were up to 50 percent in Asia. Untreated sewage was the main cause of this, it said.
The report added that nearly 3.4 million people die each year from diseases or conditions like cholera, typhoid, polio and diarrhea. These are related to water quality.
UN officials believe as many as 164 million people in Africa are at risk of infection from the diseases. They said that 134 million people in Asia and 25 million in Latin America also are at risk.
The report said building more sewage systems was not enough to solve the problems of infection and deaths. It said the solution was for countries to treat their wastewater.
Organic pollution, such as sewage, can cause water to lose all oxygen. One of every seven kilometers of river in Latin America, Asia and Africa has no oxygen. This threatens freshwater fisheries, the report said.
Mines, homes and irrigation systems often release salty water in rivers and lakes, creating high salt levels there. Moderate to high salt levels affect one in three rivers across three continents, the report said.
Dietrich Borchardt called the increasing levels of water pollution over time "critical."
"It costs much more money to clean up surface water from severe pollution than to start effective management, which includes prevention of pollution," he said. "Tools are available but the problem is getting people to use them."
I'm Pete Musto.
1.at risk of 冒着...的危险
He saved three children alive at risk of his life.
Bleeding from erosive gastritis was rarely life-threatening.
3.population growth 人口增长
The controversies surrounding population growth are unlikely to subside soon.
4.microscopic organisms 微生物
Typically, pathogens are microscopic organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites such as worms.
1.UNEP officials said long-lasting toxic pollutants like fertilizer or petrol increased during that period.
Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to make long-lasting close friends.
Local-flavour food, tasty and fresh, has a long-lasting market.
2.Dietrich Borchardt called the increasing levels of water pollution over time "critical."
water pollution 水污染
As solid wastes fill more and more landfills, this form of water pollution is an increasing concern.
Soil erosion is a main contributor to water pollution.
该报告显示，1990到2010年间，亚非拉地区近一半的河流充斥着的病毒、细菌及其他微生物使污染加剧 。规划署的官员表示，在此期间，化肥和汽油等长期有毒污染物剧增 。约三分之一水质的含盐量也有所增加 。
报告指出，地表水污染的两大主因是人口增长和农业扩张 。还有一个原因是未经处理的含有污染物水质的增加 。联合国环境规划署表示，约3.23亿人面临着感染的危险 。
该报告的首席作者迪特里希·博查特接受了汤森路透基金会的采访 。他说：“水质安全问题已经成为全球性的难题，受污水影响的居民远远超出了我们的预料” 。
报告中称，拉丁美洲约25%河流出现致病污染的问题 。非洲10%-25%的河流受到该问题的困扰，而亚洲出现致病污染的河流高达50% 。报告解释称，未经处理的污水是致病污染的主因 。
报告还提到，每年近340万人死于霍乱、伤寒、小儿麻痹症和腹泻 。这些疾病都与水质有关 。
联合国官员认为，非洲约1.64亿人面临着感染这类疾病的风险 。亚洲约1.34亿人、拉丁美洲约2500万人都处于这样的风险之中 。
报告认为，建造更多的排污系统对解决感染及死亡问题来说远远不够 。我们应该从国家入手来处理污水问题 。
比如，污水中的有机物会吸收水中氧气 。在拉丁美洲、亚洲和非洲，每7公里河流就有1公里水域缺乏氧气 。报告称这严重威胁到淡水鱼类的生存 。
采矿、家庭污水和灌溉系统向河流和湖泊排放的污水导致水质含盐量较高 。报告称，在亚非拉地区每3条河流中就有1条河流的含盐量达到了中度或者高度水平 。
他说，“地表水除污比建立有效的管理机制的花费高昂，其中还包括预防污染的费用 。”“工具随处可见，问题是倡导人们积极使用 。”