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Brownback Participates in World Water Day Event

Twenty percent of world’s population lacks access to safe drinking water


Contact: Brian Hart, Becky Ogilvie, Sam Brownback United States Senator - Kansas, 202-224-6521


WASHINGTON, Mar. 22 /Standard Newswire/ -- U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today spoke at a press conference observing the fourteenth annual World Water Day, an international observance of the plight of the more than 1 billion people world wide who lack access to clean, safe drinking water. 


“The global water crisis is currently one of the greatest public health issues, condemning billions of people to a perpetual struggle to survive at the subsistence level,” said Brownback.  “It is unconscionable that in 2007 so many people are dying from waterborne diseases.”   


Nearly 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water.  The lack of clean, safe drinking water is estimated to kill almost 4,500 children daily.  Out of the 2.2 million unsafe drinking water deaths in 2004, 90% were children under the age of five.  A third of the Earth’s population lives in water stressed countries and that number is expected to increase dramatically over the next two decades.


Brownback continued, “While this problem isn’t confined to one particular region of the world, the crisis is most prevalent in developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  Many women and young girls in rural areas in Sub-Saharan African and other parts of the world must walk miles every day to retrieve water for their families.”


Brownback sponsored S.492, the Safe Water: Currency for Peace Act of 2005, which emphasized the provision of affordable and equitable access to safe water and sanitation in developing countries as a component of U.S. foreign assistance programs.  The bill would require the Administration to offer a comprehensive strategy to address emergency water needs as well as implementation of life-saving sustainable water development.


Brownback is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.