Sorry, but the very first line of this article got up my nose; “The world’s wealthiest nations must step up and do something about a global water crisis that is crippling economies and spreading disease among millions, according to a new report from the UN.” It’s all about the poor sanitary facilities and lack of clean water in the third world, although why the bloody UN can’t shift some of that “oil for food” take from their entertainment and dinner kitty and buy a couple of truckloads of pipes, spigots, and flush johns is beyond me. No, I have a problem with a sanctimonious collection of well-paid busybodies like the U-Bloody-N bashing me about the head and shoulders and demanding that I “must” “do” “something” when the owners and first-line administrators of the pit of poverty in question appear to have done sod-all.
(Exception to this general rule reported here)
These are sovereign nations that they are talking about… poor they are, but I doubt they are ignorant of the connection between sewage and disease, and I’d rather throw it back onto the so-called government of the communities in question and ask if they don’t have some vested interest in keeping the situation as it is. As if importing boatloads of Western flush toilets and pumping stations and technicians, and throwing even more boatloads of money would really help in the long run, when local governments are incompetent to make use of them or riddled with corruption and hot to make use of them for their own bank-account enhancing purposes.

About the most useful thing the rich countries can do, is look to small entrepreneurs and inventers to work up some low-tech, easily-maintained by a semi-skilled handy-man, inexpensively-manufactured gizmo that would make the provision of clean water and waste disposal something that any poor slum resident could manage themselves… without having to depend on a disobliging local government… or an incompetent and corrupt UN.

Frankly, the rich nations have got problems of their own, these days. And if we wanna go looking for water on Mars, then that, my dear little chickadee, is the priviledge of being a rich nation. Sorry to be so harsh about this, but if there is one thing I have learned in my time it is that most problems are not solved by indiscriminatingly throwing large buckets of money at them, and anyone who encourages the throwing of large buckets of money has an agenda of their own… and possibly their own bucket to fill.

“Sgt. Mom” is a freelance writer and retired Air Force NCO who blogs at, and lives in San Antonio.

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