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Rethinking Sanitation Systems On World Water Day

“In 1993 the United Nations General Assembly declared 22 March as World Day for Water, and people have embraced the entire week in an attempt to shine the spotlight on the global water issues,” Carl Hensman, a program officer in the water, sanitation, and hygiene program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “In my line of work I often get asked, if here in America we enjoy the fruits of a sewer and wastewater treatment plant system why does our Water, Sanitation and Hygiene group not support sewer systems in developing countries?” he writes and discusses why these systems don’t make sense in developing countries. He concludes, “On this World Water Day, I encourage you to learn more about how rethinking sanitation systems leads not only to healthier communities, but how it would free-up clean water to be used where it is needed most — for families around the world to drink, cook, and bathe safely” (3/22).