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[casi] Re: Iraq: Water-borne diseases increase with summer temperatures

Dear Colleagues & especially AS-ILAS (sorry, don't know your name),

     Well, I too am buffaloed by the lack of  more CASI and HRW, etc. activity
re the killing off of Iraqis, especially infants by the fact that the U.S. puts
lower priority of safe water, even for infants and children, than on important
stuff like looting the oil.

      I think this silence is killing not only Iraqi kids but is at least
positively  correlated with the armed reply to the US/UK forces, which is really
tragic because  the victims tend to be poor and without any control. I'm not
aware of any general or admiral having been even inconvenienced, much less
suffered wounds or death itself.

        Is hard for me to imagine that the US/UK casualties would increase
rather than decrease if the US just let the NGOs with over a decade experience 
in Iraq distribute water to at least all infants and children IMMEDIATELY. Yes,
I know there are plans advertised by the US for killing fewer kids, but given
history like Afghanistan, a person would have to be in utter denial or worse,
complicity to believe the promises.

        And so the poor and powerless (U.S./UK troops and Iraqi infants and
children alike continue to die. If we don't act to  end the  insanity (W.W.I
comes to mind) and let HRW  get away with substituting  rape stories for
coverage of the waterborne deaths, then I feel you and I are complicit. I am
ENTIRELY in FAVOR of coverage of RAPE to reduce and end this CRIME, but I don't
favor its use as a SUBSTITUTE for stories about  killing kids with disease
ridden water. I think we need to eliminate all horrors, not close our eyes to
any. I also feel there is need for some prioritization and need to see if one
horror is being systematically used to block coverage of another.

  May the gods forgive us our crimes for certainly is hard to imagine that the
Iraqi mothers can ever forgive us,

   Om mani padme hum.


> Dear all,
> Maybe I haven't recognized the pattern yet, but there isn't really any
> concerted and dedicated and (precisely) mapped out strategical CASI effort
> to deal with that topic, is there ?
> I've got the impression Tom (Nagy) is rather a lonely rider against
> windmills which appear to be more animated than many people/orgs in this
> respect.
> Is that because CASI is in the state of "disbanding" or "disintegration" or
> .... ?
> Please, correct me if I'm wrong.
> I would love to be wrong on this.
> Best
> Andreas
> --------------------
> "This is only the beginning of the summer of diarrhoea," Anne Morris, CARE
> emergency response director in Iraq, said recently. "If proper monitoring,
> testing and prevention mechanisms are not quickly put back in place, the
> breeding ground will spill over the brim of the cup. The entire Iraqi
> population is at risk of a public health crisis."
> -------------------
> 17 Jul 2003
> Iraq: Water-borne diseases increase with summer temperatures
> BAGHDAD, 17 Jul 2003 (IRIN) - The World Health Organisation (WHO), along
> with NGOs in Iraq, told IRIN on Thursday that high summer temperatures,
> sometimes touching 50 degrees Celsius, were contributing to ongoing health
> problems throughout the country.
> "In this particular season we are faced with increased incidence of
> diarrhoea, including bloody diarrhoea and watery diarrhoea," Dr Faris Bunni,
> a WHO medical officer said.
> Although the searing heat is normal in most parts of Iraq at this time of
> year, ongoing difficulties with electricty and clean water, as well as a
> degraded health system, were all contributing to the increase in disease,
> health experts said. Power supplies to major population centres remain
> intermittent and raw sewage remains untreated in many cities.
> According to CARE International, the US-based charity, about two million mt
> of raw sewage are dumped into Iraq's rivers every day, four times the amount
> before the war. In the southeastern city of Basra, it seeps from the canals
> into the irrigation channels that are used for drinking and bathing. In the
> capital, Baghdad, 300,000 mt escape into the Tigris daily. For many, there
> is no other water source.
> The deteriorating situation is compounded by the lack of electricity and
> cooking fuel which prevent Iraqis from boiling water and making it safe to
> drink. Given the scorching temperatures, and the fact that 50 percent of
> Iraq's population have no access to clean drinking water, aid agencies are
> concerned. Inevitably, they say, it is the children who are most at risk
> from disease and death through dehydration.
> "This is only the beginning of the summer of diarrhoea," Anne Morris, CARE
> emergency response director in Iraq, said recently. "If proper monitoring,
> testing and prevention mechanisms are not quickly put back in place, the
> breeding ground will spill over the brim of the cup. The entire Iraqi
> population is at risk of a public health crisis."
> Marilyn Hurrella, a medical officer with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF),
> told IRIN from Basra that the number of diarrhoea cases there had been
> rising along with the temperature. "People don't have clean water to drink.
> They are drinking dirty water because they get very thirsty, then people get
> diarrhoea," she said.
> WHO is doing what it can to monitor the disease by setting up a surveillance
> system and supporting the activities of the Ministry of Health. "We are
> doing early detection of this disease on a daily basis in Baghdad and on a
> weekly basis in other governorates of Iraq," Bunni said.
> The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is currently the leading UN agency for water
> and sanitation in Iraq. UNICEF information officer Geoffrey Keele told IRIN
> that 7.5 million litres of clean water are being distributed every day in
> Iraq.
> But with clean water still in short supply in many parts of Iraq, this
> amount remains inadequate. "We are targeting to provide access to the most
> vulnerable people in need. The water distribution system needs to be
> repaired in order the meet the needs of 27.5 million Iraqis," Keele said.
> Seventy cholera cases have been reported in Basra, and one in Baghdad. This
> is up from figures for May and June, although no deaths have been reported.
> WHO reported diarrhoeal disease in the four main hospitals of Basra
> amounting to a total of 1,549 cases of acute watery diarrhoea.
> [ENDS]
> [This Item is Delivered to the "Asia-English" Service of the UN's IRIN
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> Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2003

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