The Right to Adequate Standard of Living for Health and Well-Being

RIGHT TO ADEQUATE STANDARD OF LIVING FOR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

INTRODUCTION

‘’ A RIGHT IS NOT WHAT SOMEONE GIVES YOU; IT’S WHAT NO ONE CAN TAKE FROM YOU ’’

–Ramsey Clark

Human rights exist to all human beings. Those rights are which is fundamental for living and other human existences. Such as, right to live, speech, work, movement, freedom etc. Whatever their nationality, colour, sex, religion, language or any other status they are all entitled to human rights. Human rights play a great role in everyone’s life but not everyone realizes it. Those should not be taken away. They are inalienable. But in some specific cases it can be restricted. For example if a person is caught by a court for a crime, the liberty right may be restricted.

Engineers have meaningful ways to development. But many of us would wonder what engineers can do with human rights. Indeed engineering has everything to do with human rights. As engineers it would be more important to ensure human rights of ours and people who works with us. Those lead to continue designing and implementing projects protecting standard of all living beings. In the 21 century, it seems that there will be increasing engineering opportunities in the human rights field.

So in this assignment we are suppose to understand about human rights and discuss about one human right recognized by the international convection on economics, social and cultural rights.

According to International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Article 12:

1. The states parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for:

a) The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child;

b) The improvement of all aspects of environment and industrial hygiene;

c) The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases;

d) The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness.

Everyone has the right to a living standard sufficient for the health and well being. Water is one of the measurements of measuring living standard. However without access to water other rights could not be exercised such as article 12. So everyone has the right to use clean and accessible water. And have to making sure that do not get sick from drinking it and from using it.

‘’ACCESS TO SAFE WATER IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN NEED AND THEREFORE A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT’’

–Kofi Annan

G:semester

http://banksandhumanrights.ch/cs-rights?ci=10

For everyone the water supply must be sufficient for personal uses. Some uses are drinking, washing, domestic purposes, cooking, and personal hygiene. According to the data of the WHO (World Health Organization), a one person need between 50 and 100 liters of water per day. But due to population growth people can’t access safe drink water.

Lack access to drinking water – nearly one billion people

Lack access to sanitation -nearly 2.6 billion people

Die from sanitation related diseases per year -nearly 1.6 million people

…From WHO data

G:semester

A boy collecting water from a drinking water pipe following a break in the pipe at Bangalore.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/activists-rap-bwssbs-leakage-reduction-project/article1063685.ece

Because of using unsafe drinking water there are many health problems have arising in Sri Lanka.Out of the 25 districts, more than 15 districts are affected by this problem. Waters in towns are polluted with domestic sewage and industrial effluents and toxic, and waters in rural areas are polluted with agricultural waste and fertilizers.

This planet is suitable for living from other planets due to the availability of water. The amount of drinking water in the world is very few. It is less than one percent. The government should provide safe drinking water to people. But Rathupaswala, Weliweriya water issue is yet to be solved. People in Rathupaswala faced a huge problem about their drinking water. Their drinking water was unhygienic due to an industrial waste of a glove factory in Nedungamuwa.According to observations; it was disclosed the PH content in the water was below 3.5 percent. Many residents get their drinking water from plastic tanks. But it was not satisfied..So they had to go to the nearest places looking for water. It has become an added burden to them. People had organized a protest at Weliweriya to regain their rights. But what they received was a rain of bullets instead of water. Three people were killed and over 40 were injured. The military has no right to intervene in civil protest. It is not good of involvement of military in civil affairs. We cannot accept it. So this Rathupaswala water problem becomes a human rights violation. This incident shocked the entire country.Eventhough the government has ordered to remove the glove factory, the problem still exist. Still people in Rathupaswala get their drinking water from black plastic tanks which they were provided.

Also there are many serious health problems because of using unsafe drinking water in Sri Lanka.People face difficulties to access drinking water in dry zone.

Pipe-borne water coverage in Sri Lanka – around 34%

….From 2008 national census

So the rest of the people depending on wells, hand pump tube wells, rain water harvesting tanks,canels,streams etc.Much of agriculture is located in the country hill and then toxic chemicals which are added to agriculture enter the country water system and are delivered to around the country. For example via the Mahaweli,Kelani,Kalu,Walawe.Then people who use this water as drinking water are caused health problems.Beacuse of this water pollution number of persons suffering from renal problems has increased. These diseases were leading death in Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, and Badulla.

What can chemical engineers do about the unsafe water problem?

1) This unsafe water and related health problems needs to be solved urgently. The first thing that needs to be done is stop polluting the water. The factories which are caused water pollution should be established with an environment conservation license and make sure they are reducing the use of toxic chemicals enter the water system.

2) Another step is treating sewage. Actually Sewage can be treated and reuse after chemical treatment.

3) In many situations treatment of water is necessary to make it suitable for drinking. The main health risk is, water is contamination with waste water. This introduces bacterias, viruses and it can be caused for waterborne diseases. So all pathogenic organisms must be removed. The following table shows the removal of some water contaminants by various treatment processes.

Treatment processes

Sedimentation

Coagulation

Flocculation,
sedimentation and filtration

Slow sand filtration

Multistage
filtration

Chemical oxidation:
disinfection

Water contaminants

Bacteria

0

0

+++

++++

++++

++++

Viruses

0

0

+++

++++

++++

++++

Giarda cysts

0

0

+++

++++

++++

++

Cryptosporidium oocystis

0

0

+++

+++

+++

+

Turbidity

0

+

++++

++++

++++

0

Suspended solids

0

+++

++++

++++

++++

0

Taste and odour

++

0

+++

+++

+++

+

IronandManganese

++

+

+++

+++

+++

++

Fluoride

0

0

+

0

0

0

Arsenic

0

0

++

+

+

0

Heavy metals

++

0

++

++

++

+

Dissolved Oxygen

+

0

0

0

Carbon dioxide

0

0

+

+

0

Colour and organics

0

0

++

++

++

+

0: no effect
+: positive effect
– : negative effect

Table taken from:http://www.lenntech.com/small-community-water-supplies.htm#ixzz2rJmibVU0

.

  1. Desalination water will become an important water source in Sri Lanaka.It can help with water problems is to build plants to desalinate sea water. There are many ways to remove salt from sea water. Desalination technology will be considered in situations where sufficient water cannot be found. In some cases desalinate water may be cheaper. Desalination technology can be divided into two groups. They are desalting technology and membrane desalting. However these two types of methods can be used to get fresh water from sea water in Sri Lanka.
  1. Water fluoridation

So as a chemical engineer, by using these methods we can solve this water problem. The world will be a better place when the human rights are approved by all people.

G:semester

References