Thursday, 14 October 2010

What have they done to the river?

During the summer they started cutting down trees on the river bank.  I thought they were just tidying up because all the remaining trees were pruned hard.

But when I got back this autumn, I could see from a distance they were reinforcing the bank down by the old mill.  the whole of that area was cordoned off so I couldn't get any closer to see what was going on.


Then today, they took away the barriers and this is what I found.  They have completely "remodelled" the river banks in this area.  Very strangely, they have put in double rows of wooden stakes in some stretches but not everywhere.

And here, they have  put in steps down to the old ford where previously the bank sloped down much more gradually.

They have done it to stop the river eroding the bank and presumably also to halt the subsidence causing the old mill to crack so badly.

It occurs to me, on this Blog Action Day, that there is a huge discrepancy between the efforts to protect what is ultimately only a leisure area, a place for picnics or for walking, when in other areas in this world the efforts made are merely to obtain some water, any water.

A billion people in this world don't have clean, safe water to drink.  42,000 people die each WEEK from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions, and 90% of these deaths are children under five.  Just access to clean water could save 21% of these deaths, sanitation alone could save 37% and hand-washing alone 45%.   

So water is just the first step, after that must come hygiene and education.  We can all help.  Any sum donated can yield as much as 12 times that amount in economic returns, and it doesn't take a lot: $20 can provide clean water for one person for 20 years.  Compare that with the costs of shoring up our river bank.
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  1. Interesting post.

    One thing. I can't read the last few paragraphs because the petition thing lies over them. I'd love to sign a petition to help something, but I need to know what it is, first.

  2. Shakespeare, thank you for pointing that out. I struggled to insert it in the first place and I suppose I'm not entirely surprised to find it went wrong. I've put it in the sidebar, probably where it was intended to go, and hope that's better.

    I must point out though, that I've tried endlessly to sign the petition without success. I don't know whether the servers they are using aren't up to the job, or whether there's another problem, but a problem there is.

  3. I wish I could have clean water for 20 years for $20. Are you sure? :)

    I love the pictures of the river, though not so much the "improvements."

    (REALLY nice pics.)


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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