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16 October 2007 | Printer friendly

Waste in Water hurts our health - Danube Delta Teens research their environment

Organisation: Women for a Clean Future


Community acts to make drinking water safe

In Romania, seven million people lack access to safe drinking water. Women for a Clean Future have completed two water and sanitation projects in the village of Garla Mare, where human waste and pesticide concentrations in water are dangerously high. One of the results of nitrate pollution of drinking water is methaemoglobinaemia, or "blue baby" disease, which turns babies’ and children’s skin a bluish colour.

The group’s first task was to discuss with the villagers the health risks they faced from inadequate sanitation and polluted drinking water - and what steps could be taken to avoid it. An “ecosan” toilet and “waterless urinals” were installed to help reduce water pollution from human excrement. Water filters were fitted in schools and community cleaning of some wells was organised. Villagers were also encouraged to test the well water for safety and make known the results.

Blue baby disease no longer occurs in the project villages, and children have clean drinking water and safe sanitation. Community organisation means that interest in ecological sanitation is high and villagers have become active in environmental campaigns.

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