Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Big Necessity

Among the books I’ve read recently is this little gem that was recommended by my old friend from parkersburg, Jaime Sayre. Jaime is an Environmental Engineering doctoral candidate and a brilliant friend.

The book, is a book by Rose George called The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters. The book takes the reader around the world to look at water and sanitation issues and the great needs in this realm of human health.

I found myself completely shocked by what I read. She said that the issue of clean drinking water is largely a sanitation issue. Not only is it a sanitation issue, but it’s more specifically an issue of feces. It’s an issue that folks don’t like to talk about but after reading this book, I realize how very important and how little discussed the subject is.

In America, we flush and everything goes away. But where? Have you ever really thought about it? What would life be like without indoor plumbing? What would life be like with out the water and sanitation luxuries we enjoy. (By the way, the sewer systems even in our part of the world are fairly outdated in many areas.)

What about the 2.6 billion people in our world who don’t have access to “adequate” sanitation and clean drinking water? How could this need be solved?

The author recommends micro scale changes and improvements that can expand to macro scale long term change.

When I think about the need, and the solution many are suggesting, I get even more excited about the work Nuru is doing.

If you get a chance, check out the book. It’s not a book about faith, it’s a book about a subject that we spend very little time talking about. It’s a book that exposes in a very unabashed way the very dire situation in much of our world with regard to sanitation, and even demonstrates how little we know about our own sewage problems. After reading this book, I am much more conscientious about what goes down any drain. It doesn’t just disappear, and somebody has to deal with it.

In the meantime, maybe we can all just start to live a little differently, and a little more aware that we may just be part of the solution and we may have something to offer others in aid in some way.


Anonymous said...

well for us in morgantown... it goes to the waste water treatment plant down by the river. The solid material is removed and then the water is sanitized and returned into the river. The outflow point is monitored closely by DEP to ensure nothing harmful is reintroduced into the river.

Anonymous said...

so you can learn about what happens here in morgantown.

Jaime said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it and blogged about it. Sorry it's taken me this long to find/visit your blog. I'll be back often now that I've found you
Love you!!!