The essay is a book report about ‘The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters’ written by Rose George in 2008 a publication of Metropolitan Books. To accomplish this three major issues are addressed; the author’s points as well as my intention, things I have learned from the book as well as my thoughts, and lastly the benefits of the book. The author talks of how humans shun away from talking about human waste management. She clearly depicts and makes the reader understand that this is quite important. The whole issue is ignored by the majority in the world.
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According to Rose 73 based on careful global research about 2.6 billion individuals do not have access to proper sanitation. The consequences she says are much more harmful than what AIDS and HIV, tuberculosis, armed conflicts as well as malaria cannot match. To her diarrhea is much worse and more threatening to human existence. For this reason, waste management is one of the most burning issues that are currently facing humanity as their number keeps on swelling resulting in overcrowding.
The author compares the state of sanitation in major cities such as London, New York to cities in developing countries as well as those in the Middle East, especially India. In the latter, fecal waste is just deposited openly in crowded residential places. Women are forced to clean these wastes by using bare hands making them prone to dysentery (Rose 212). Big and clean cities have managed to construct very good lavatories which use a lot of water. Additionally, governments also seem to pay little attention to the matter. In her view, for a human to improve on sanitation, there is a need to have a champion who will lead from the front. An example given is the efforts made by Matt Damon who came up with a campaign dubbed ‘bring clean water to Africa’
The author is of the view that with a population of close to three billion, it will not be rational to provide these individuals with clean water while the issue of proper sanitation is completely ignored. Close to 2 million children die annually from health problems associated with poor sanitation (Rose 153).
Additionally, she makes it explicit that as time moves; the sewerage system of the world will continue to get worse. According to U.S Environmental Protection Agency, by the year 2020 about half of the sewage pipes will be in a crumbling state which will pose a greater threat to human health. Through the author, there are a number of issues have learned and come to appreciate. Among them is that human beings are refraining to tackle the issue of waste management head-on. As proposed by the author I agree that we indeed need the icon in the society who will help others champion proper waste management in the world.
Additionally, the issue of poor sanitation with the health problem associated with it has negatively impacted those in the third world country more as compared to their counterparts in developed countries. For instance, young people fail to attend school due to sickness as a result of poor sanitation. This coupled with lack of equipment such as internet connection has made African children as well as those in other developing countries to be disadvantaged in terms of knowledge and skill acquisition.
On the same note, I have learned that sewage treatment plants do pose a health problem to local populations. Diseases associated with cancer as well as other auto-immune ailments. Governments also contribute to the problem facing mankind when it comes to waste management. For instance, through Environmental Protection Agency allowed firms to categorize sewage as fertilizers. Having in mind that without being fully treated the fertilizer, it will allow heavy metals such as mercury to enter agricultural products which are consumed by living organisms. Additionally, lack of proper lavatories especially in slums that are over populated for instance in east Africa has resorted to using flying toilets. This poses great danger to human health. Through the views of the Rose, fecal matter has been not only used as fertilizers but also in generating energy to light stoves. In France, buses were run on bio-methane. Additionally, in politics, controlling riot has been in part handled by using fecal stink bombs.
In my own view, the problems associated with inadequate waste management are of health concern to people in the world (Rose 231). There is thus need to get everyone on board in trying to bring a culture of managing human waste in the most proper manner. It is no doubt that the book has left me thinking on how waste management will look like if we do not take necessary corrective action at present. Before reading the book I held the belief that human waste management is an easy task that the current efforts can help address emerging problem. However, a close scrutiny of event through ready the book has painted another picture in my mind. Ion the near future I fore see a situation whereby if we do not join hands and have true champions of proper human waste then we will see more people dying and suffering from diseases that could be prevented.
Rose, George. The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2008. Print.