The Stream, June 6: In India, Lack of Toilets Is Not Only a Health Concern But a Safety Crisis

The rape and hanging of two girls in India’s most populous state has put an international spotlight on the country’s inadequate toilet facilities and its violence toward women. The two victims, like so many in rural India where in-home toilets are scarce, were heading to the fields at dusk to use the bathroom when they were assaulted. Women often face harassment during these evening trips.

Water Struggle
Water is one of the few levers of power Ukraine still has over Crimea, territory that was effectively annexed by Russia in March. Reuters reports that farmers in Crimea believe Ukraine is withholding the full amount of water that should flow into canals. Ukrainian officials will not say how much water they are releasing.

Water Diversion, Northern U.S.
An engineering study puts the construction cost of a water supply pipeline to eastern North Dakota at $US 918 million, the Jamestown Sun reports. Next for the Red River Valley project, which will draw water from the Missouri River, is a study of the best intake design. State and local officials also need to rework the cost-sharing formula now that federal dollars are not available.

Natural Infrastructure
Missoula, Montana officials cut the ribbon on a wastewater-purifying poplar forest. Some 100,000 trees will remove from the water nitrogen and phosphorous, nutrients that pump up algae that suffocates fish. Once full grown, the forest will take up one-fifth of the city’s wastewater. No word on how river flows might be affected.

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1 reply
  1. CrisisMaven says:

    Actually one needs to look at the “in the fields bathroom” question in a little more detail. When Indira Gandhi’s son as part of her population control measures sent teams of doctors and soldiers across the countryside to sterilize the male population (in theory voluntarily, but as doctors were paid premiums, the thing turned into a manhunt), farmers neglected going to the fields to defecate (for fear of being captured by the teams) which in turn led to a drop in crop fertility that year. So our Western call for toilets may not make that much sense. Rather there needs to be more vigilance in the fields, because Indias crops may still depend on that age-old method of fertilization!

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