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GGR345H5 (22)

Week 8 Hardoy

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Gabrielle Sauter

Ch. 2 Environmental Problems in the Home, Workplace, and Neighborhood Hardoy Introduction -this chapter concentrates on three kinds of environmental problem in relation to the home, workplace, and neighborhood: 1. Disease-causing agents (pathogens) or pollutants in the human environment (in the air, soil, food or water) which can damage human health 2. Shortages of natural resources essential to human health (for instance insufficient fresh water) 3. Physical Hazards (for instance accidental fires or flooding for housing built on flood-plains or mudslides or landslides for housing built on steep slopes) -these are all environmental problems that can be reduced or eliminated by human intervention -Although govts in these countries (West Europe, North America, and Japan) it was largely through the efforts of individual activists, citizen groups and NGOs that attention was drawn to environmental problems and public opinion mobilized to demand that these were addressed. Although governments in these countires were often slow to react, the fact that more effective environmental policies developed despite the opposition of powerful vested inerests is a demonstration of democratic processes at work. Such democratic processes are controlled or repressed in many low- and middle-income nations The indoor environment at home -high proportion of the urban populations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean live and work in very poor conditions is too well know -inadequate housing that often provide insufficient space, protection against the elements and extreme temperatures and inadequate provisions for the removal of wastes and to bring in clean water -despite the diversity between the different types of housing there are often three common characteristics of low income housing that contribute to poor environmental health: -The presence within the home and its immediate surrounds of disease causing agents (pathogens) because of a lack of basic infrastructure and services – for instance no sewers, inadequate provision for drainage and irregular or no services to collect solid wastes and safely dispose of them -Inadequate supplies of safe water -overcrowded, cramped living conditions that increase the transmission of airborne infections and those passed by human contact and increase the risk of accidents. The Health problems associated with inadequate water and sanitation -a lack of readily available water, of sewers (or other systems to safely dispose oh human wastes), of drainage systems, rubbish collection and basic measures to prevent disease and provide health care result in very large health burdens from easily prevented disease. They also result in high levels of infant and child death -Many health problems are linked to water (its quality, the quantity available, the ease with which it can be obtained and the provisions made for its removal, once used. -The health links with sanitation are also obvious; human excreta is an extremely hazardous substance. At any one time, close to half of the urban population in Africa, Asia, and Latin America is suffering from one or more of the main disease associated with inadequate provision for water and sanitation -these diseases account for a high proportion of infant and child deaths. -improved water and sanitation can bring great benefits not only in terms of reducing mortality but reduced expenditures (on water purchased from vendors or kiosks and on treatment of diseases) -new classification system that classifies the disease by the mechanisms by which it is spread rather than the nature of the pathogens (used by doctors) -easier to understand for non-health profeessionals -highlights the environmental pathways by which the disease infects humans, and so help to identify the extent to which they can be addressed by preventive measures -mechanisms: -Water born, water washed, water based, water related instect vector - Among the many water-related diseases, water-borne diseases – mostly diarrhoeal diseases are the most common. (results in most water related deaths for infants and child-deaths) -water washed diseases are associated with a lack of water supplies for washing - Diseases spread by water-related insect vectors are among the pressing environmental problems in many cities -in many cities or in particular poor peropheral city districts, mosquitoes that are the vector for malaria breed in standing water, so good drainage is acritical part of malaria control The inadequacies in provison for water - hard to get clean water. Often get it from streams (like open sewers). Purchase insanitary vendors. Even access to clean water pipes usaully have low quality water and require people to walk long distances to get to it -espeically in peripheral areas outside metropolitan areas. -the quantity of water availble to a household and the price that has to be paid can be as important to a family’s health as its quality. The cost of water and the time needed to collect it influence the quantity used. Also a cost of spending time getting water (which takes away from the time that could be made making income) -costs of water vary from city to city and from neighborhood to neighborhood. Factors are competition from vendors, ease with which vendors can obtain their supplies, and the distance and physical accessibility of their customers -generally women and children who end up going to collect water -govts say too expensive to have pipes to all buildings (but thiis could alleviate costs of diseases and health care and so on) -even those with pipes don’t get it continously -These highlights how for households with piped supplies in 1967 and 1997 there was -a dramatic decline in water use per person -a significant decline in the reliability of piped water supplies -increasing reliance on alternative sources -For households lacking piped supplies, the main findings show: -a very alrge increase in the time needed to obtain water and the increased distances that had to be walked to collect it -a greater reliance on higher-cost sources -govts and international agencies generally assume that households with piped supplies are adequately served. But this isnt always true: oftent imes water is in and out and doesn’t last long. -coverage improving in some cities but this doesn’t not mean adequate supplyas of ten it is intermittent Sanitation -removing and safely disposing of excreta and wase water is also critircal to the environmental health need -yet many govts and international agencies have concentrated on improving provisions for water and not on sanitation and on ensuring the safe removal of waste water -for sanitation, the key is to ensure no human contact with excreta, and also safe excreta dispola, so for instance, the excreta does not conatminate water or allow the parisitic worms in excreta to survice, develop, and re-infect humans. -Most of the diseases associated with contaminated water are also excreta related -among the the other common diseases that are excreta realted are schistosomiases, hookworm, beef and pork tapewords and filariasis -Most urban centers in Africa and many in Asia have no sewers at all. This not only the smaller urban centers; many major cities with a million or more inhabitants have no sewer system The scale of the problem for water and sanitation, and the inaccuracies and exaggerations within official stats (exaggeration of how good things are getting) -official stats suggest that problems with the provision for water and sanitation in urban areas are less serious that described 300 million as not served which implies 80% of urban dewellers were served (VERY WRONG) -official stats also suggest that there has been considerable progress in improving provision, especially for water, and that urban inhabitants are far better served than rural inhabitants. Although there has been great progress in some countries (and particular cities) in improving provision and there are some cities in latin America and Asia where virtually all households have water piped into their home, unfortunately, official stats greatly overstate the extent and qaulity of provision. -2 main reases why they do this 1. the use of inappropriate criteria to define what is ‘adequate’ (must be good quality, readily available, piped to the house –or atleast very close by – and affordable.) (but the stats count all that have some form of water supply within 100 meters of their homes) 2. govts provide inaccurate stats and it is difficult for international agencies who publish these to question their accuracy (WB cant question the stats given by one of its member country’s) -Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) of water supply and sanitation is in the process of completing the Year 2000 Global Assessment. This follows on from previous JMP reports by providing national, regional, and global water supply and sanitation coverage figures. This JMP differs considerably in its approach to those of previously years in that the data are primarily from consumer-based sources, largely from houshold surveys. For the first time there has been a move away from accepting official govt. figures, towards the use of nationally representative sample surveys. -The are still many difficulties involved in this approach, such as: -the use of defintions that vary widely across both time and space -the fact that many countries do not have either household survey data or recent census data, leaving the traditionally used provider-based data as the main source of information -the nature of the survey data collection means defintion is based on technology type alone from which adequacy inferred (ex in house piped wat
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