Bad Karma. The belief that people should suffer from a poor situation, illness, or death. If one endures problems in life it’s so because of their wrongdoings in a previous life. Therefore, if they wait better karma will bless them in the afterlife. If that’s the case, then Canadians must have great karma! After all, we take for granted a basic convenience. A convenience that is a necessity. Every day we enjoy a private bathroom with plumbing to do our business. While millions and millions of people don’t get the opportunity to use a plumbed bathroom any day.
Before the invention of the underground sewer pipes, city dwellers dumped their poop. There was no sewage infrastructure under city streets until the end of the Industrial Revolution. In the past, they’d use street channels that oozed toxic waste, making it hard to breath clean air. Today Canadians now have a complex sanitation system which serves communities across Canada. Installing underground sewers have grown civilizations around the world. They’ve grown more intelligent, lifespans have increased and prosperity has risen.
THOSE AFFECTED FROM TOXIC SEWAGE TODAY
But the developing countries still struggle with this same problem. In fact, close to one billion people are defecating in the streets, groves, and fields! India suffers the most. As six hundred million people live in areas with toxic sewage running through the streets. I saw a photo of a water canal in India and the plastic was pouring past villagers. They haphazardly tried to extract a few bottles here and there. The problems have now compounded and trash has further exasperated an already difficult situation.
Consequently, their fate is with filthy, dilapidated cities, noxious odors, garbage, and widespread disease. The developing world still struggles to get basic infrastructure in place. But is it money that can stitch humanity together? Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to solve India’s sanitation problems. He has given the country until October 2, 2019, Gandhi’s 150th Birthday to clean up!
THE DEVELOPING WORLD’S SOLUTION
He’s dedicated 20 billion dollars to build latrines and develop awareness campaigns. Each household received $190 to construct a pit latrine. But those that built the latrines haven’t constructed them properly. They’re built in flood zones and areas where they’ve contaminated groundwater. Plus, some built them in rocky conditions preventing proper drainage. Sometimes a pit isn’t installed at all! They’re using them for bathing or washing clothes.
The Indian community finds change difficult… They also lack the education to craft a well-built pit latrine. In the past millions of people suffered from chronic intestinal infections. Widespread feces have trillions of viruses, fecal bacteria, and parasites. This caused Diarrhea which killed 700,000 children in 2011. The kids missed out on a total of 250 million school days in one year!! The world bank states India loses 166 billion dollars per year from illness. This still goes on today… and the foreseeable future.
For this reason, women are advocating for proper working toilets. Humility, embarrassment, and harassment comes to relieving themselves. Many women including, pregnant ones will hold themselves all day until night falls. Darkness gives them privacy and reduces the potential of a sexual assault. Waiting to relieve themselves causes them more health risks. Risks including urinary tract infections and low birth weights of newborn babies. In fact, they’ve told the men if they can’t provide a toilet than they’ll refuse the marriage!
THE REAL SOLUTION
Modi understands change is in the best interest of national development! But, Pit Latrines are not a permanent solution. Only a proper sewer system throughout their communities will solve the sanitation issues. The infrastructure of a city is the heartland for prosperity in a Nation. The poor from rural communities flock to cities to find work. Developing cities such as Noida have risen to become India’s economic capital.
The city’s prosperity has also given rise to challenging the poor sanitation issue in India. They’re currently working to provide a proper sewage infrastructure for everyone. Once it’s complete they’ll become the first zero discharge city! There sewage treatment plant separates the solids, liquids and gaseous waste. They have proposed to treat liquid waste and convert it into field irrigation. Moreover, their solid waste will become manure and they’ll convert the gas waste into electricity.
Foresight, proper leadership and the Civil/Environmental Engineers contribute the most to public health. The engineering discipline designs, constructs, and maintains the physical and natural built environment. These engineers started out as stone masons, artisans, and carpenters. But now, the field is specialized. These professionals learn about physics, geology, geography, material science, and hydrology. Their knowledge can drive the change needed to make a cleaner, safer home.
IT’S NOT BAD KARMA
Right now more than 35 percent or 2.5 billion people of the world’s population lack access to a sanitary environment. The engineers must build cities the right way. Leadership must make this their primary mandate in order to change the world. This act will help us solve climate change and poor sanitation at the same time. The science of Civil engineering propels developing civilizations into a developed state sooner. It is not karma that has cast two billion people to drink contaminated water. At the end of the day, human behavior drives national problems or causes solutions. NAMASTE