Would you drink this water?
Would you drink this water? Millions of people have no choice.
Access to water is a basic human need and a fundamental human right. Yet over a billion people in the world still live without safe, clean water to drink. The diseases that result kill 5000 children every single day.
While the statistics alone are shocking, they still say nothing about the daily reality of life without clean water. Every day millions of women and children, particularly girls, walk miles to collect water for their families.
The UK’s Department for International Development reports that in rural Africa this task takes up an average of 26 percent of households’ time.
The time people spend collecting water or suffering from water-related diseases undermines productivity and economic growth: children miss out on school and women are unable to carry out other work.
The tragedy is that the water women work so hard to collect doesn’t come from a tap – but instead comes from a river, pond, or simply from dug out holes in the ground, often shared with animals and polluted with waste and excrement.
"The water is not good from this pond," explains Zenebech from Chobare Meno in Ethiopia. "There are so many worms and ugly things in it. We collect this water because we have no alternative."
In some areas water is so scarce that it slowly trickles through the ground and women have to wait for hours simply to collect enough water for their families to drink.
Drinking this water is a choice that no-one should have to make, but one that Stella from the village of Jeremiah in Zambia knows only too well: "This water is very bad, it is terrible for us. I worry so much feeding it to my children. I only give it to Joseph (the youngest of three) twice a day as I am afraid if I give him too much water from this source then he will be sick and die."
"The water is not good from this pond." explains Zenebech and yet she must collect water from here because there is "no alternative".
Despite the clear need, water and sanitation are not high on the political agenda. They are almost so obvious that they are forgotten. The United Nations Human Development Report 2006 Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis states that few countries treat water and sanitation as a political priority and the international community has failed to prioritise the issue.
Meanwhile the people suffering the most from the water and sanitation crisis – poor people in general and poor women in particular – often lack the political voice needed to assert their claims to water.
WaterAid is working hard to help change this. We not only work with local partner organisations in Africa and Asia to help communities set up and manage their own water and sanitation services, but we also lobby governments and decision makers to prioritise water and sanitation in their poverty reduction plans. We also help poor communities to demand better services themselves.
However, the need is great and much more must be done around the world to stop the ongoing water crisis. This World Water Day, 22 March, we are asking everyone to join us and help more of the poorest people escape the stranglehold of disease and poverty caused by the lack of safe water and sanitation.
Send us pictures of water that you wouldn’t want to drink and help us demand safe, clean water for the world’s poorest people.
Donate an hour of your pay as a special one-off gift. Just £15 is enough to help WaterAid provide one person with safe water, sanitation and hygiene education.
Take action today by joining the new campaign calling for sanitation and water for all. For further information please call 0845 6000 433.
Wagner ‘close to meltdown’ over X Factor ‘guilty pleasures’ week song choices as tune Cher will tackle tonight remains a secret
Last updated at 4:43 PM on 23rd October 2010
X Factor fan favourite Wagner Carrilho is reportedly at breaking point before tonight’s show because he feels he’s been given yet another wrong song choice.
This week, the 12 remaining contestants will be tackling songs with a ‘guilty pleasures’ theme, as well as the now obligatory group performance.
However, the Brazilian tenor is devastated at being given a mash-up The Spice Girls’ Spice Up Your Life and yet another Ricky Martin song, this time, Livin’ la Vida Loca.
Smiling through: Wagner Curillho arrives at Fountain Studios in North London for tonight’s live X Factor show ahead of Mary Byrne and Treyc Cohen
Wannabe star: Katie Waissell arrives for rehearsals wearing black lipstick to match her roots, and shorts over what appear to be thermal longjohns
Transparent: Belle Amie are said to have fought not to cover Footloose in tonight’s show when not fighting each other as blonde Sophia Wardman, left, attempts to stand out by wearing a see-through top to show off her bra underneath
It’s said that Wagner feels he’s been given tunes which he sees as totally unsuited to his voice because of comments he made about the show earlier in the week.
The 54-year-old, who was initially going to sing Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax, fears bosses are trying to oust him from the show.
Insiders say he hasn’t yet managed to get the songs right in rehearsals, adding that the star is on the ‘brink of a breakdown.’
A source told The Sun: ‘Wagner’s so nervous, he forgets his words. He knows that judges like Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh won’t like what he said.’
Not so grrrreat: Cher Lloyd looked downcast as she pitched up at the X Factor studios, despite wearing her favourite leopard print jeans and over the knee boots
Give us a wave: Rebecca Ferguson arrived looking fresh-faced and make-up free, apart from a slick of lip gloss
Wagner let rip in a phone call to a so-called friend who recorded their conversation.
The former PE teacher from Dudley raged: ‘Simon Cowell can decide who he wants at number one. It is so double glazing, it is so block paving, it’s all sales, it’s bull****.
‘They will never let me beat the English. They will not let a Brazilian win.’
‘If you see me in the finals, I will be getting songs overnight that I cannot sing properly. You only sing what you want once or twice and then that’s it.’
Simon Cowell, 51, called his medley of Ricky Martin’s She Bangs and B52’s Love Shack during the first live show ‘bonkers’, while Dannii slammed his rendition of Tom Jones’ Help Yourself last weekend. Wagner feels none of the songs so far have let him show off his natural operatic tenor tones.
Meanwhile, Mary Byrne is said to have had a meltdown over the song that Louis has given her too because she couldn’t hit the high notes.
The Tesco worker cracked after being given Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s Motown classic Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – though why Louis deemed the song a ‘guilty pleasure’ is anyone’s guess.
Louis said: ‘Mary just freaked out. She didn’t like the song. She was in tears and I was really worried about her.’
Support: John Adeleye, who’s covering Eighties classic Zoom on tonight’s show, has been supporting grieving Paije Richardson, who has turned up for rehearsals today despite his grandmother dying earlier in the week
Lads together: Macho painter and decorator Matt Cardle, left, will be covering Britney’s Baby One More Time, and Aiden Grimshaw, right, will be singing Diamonds Are Forever, despite his left hand having apparently fallen off
Louis eventually relented and agreed to change her song – Mary will now sing another classic that shouldn’t make any music lover feel guilty in the slightest, Ben E King’s I Who Have Nothing.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Belle Amie will be singing Footloose, but they fought to change it to The Pretenders’ hit I’ll Stand By You – later covered by X Factor judge Cheryl Cole in Girls Aloud.
Treyc Cohen meanwhile is expected to tackle Led Zeppelin’s anthem Stairway To Heaven – another baffling choice considering it’s supposed to be ‘guilty pleasures’ week.
Here come the boys: Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne from One Direction arrive for the final run through ahead of the X Factor live final tonight
In the Pink: Zayn Malik – who never seems to stop squinting – and moptopped Harry Styles follow behind the rest of One Direction as they prepare to rehearse Pink’s moving ballad Nobody Knows
Elsewhere, John Adeleye is singing Eighties classic Zoom by Fat Larry’s Band, Katie Waissel Louis Prima’s I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song) from Disney’s The Jungle Book.
Aiden Grimshaw rather bizarrely is doing Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Forever, Matt Cardle will be channelling his inner schoolgirl for Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time and One Direction are doing Pink’s heartrending ballad Nobody Knows.
However, mysteriously, Cher, Paije and Rebecca’s song choices have been kept secret, though rumours abound that Ms Lloyd is to tackle Offspring’s Pretty Fly For A White Guy.
The X Factor is on tonight at 7.45pm on ITV1.
Do you have a story about a celebrity? Call the Daily Mail showbusiness desk on 0207 938 6364 or 0207 938 6683
By the: Mail Online
Amazing close-up macro photographs of insects and spiders by John Hallmén
Amateur bug photographer John Hallmén has been fascinated by insects since he was a boy. In the last three years he’s made a name for himself by photographing the tiny creatures he finds in the Nackareservatet nature reserve near his home in Stockholm, Sweden. Using a mixture of studio and alfresco shots John magnifies the insects to show the beautiful colour and detail of his subjects
A large ant (Camponotus herculaneus)
Picture: JOHN HALLMÉN / BARCROFT MEDIA
Amazing close-up macro photographs of insects and spiders by John Hallmén
From the: www.telegraph.co.uk
BBC staff told how to spot complaints
Staff collecting the BBC licence fee have been issued with an "idiot’s guide" advising them that customers who use the words ”shambles” or ”useless” are likely to be making a complaint.
A large section of the 964-page official handbook is dedicated to dealing with complaints Photo: ALAMY
Other indications that a viewer may be unhappy include use of capital letters or the phrases, ”When will you people listen?”, ”Who do you think you are?” and ”Sort yourselves out!”
The document also reveals quirks in the rules about who needs a licence – the Queen, prisoners and diplomats do not, but all other Royals and prison officers who live in the grounds of a jail do.
The 964-page official handbook, which was released following a Freedom of Information request, sets out in detail how the fee should be administered.
A large section is dedicated to dealing with complaints, including prepared answers to regular objections about the BBC’s ”offensive” programmes and the aggressive tone of licence fee warning letters that could ”shock” elderly people.
Staff are advised to look out for particular ”keywords” suggesting a customer is protesting about some aspect of the £145.50-a-year fee.
These include: ”compensation”, ”complaint”, ”disgraceful”, ”disgusted”, ”incompetent”, ”appalling”, ”furious”, ”intimidation”, ”mistakes”, ”harassment”, ”rude”, ”threatening”, ”outrageous”, ”upsetting”, ”unacceptable” and swear words.
The guide also lists warning phrases, such as ”I am extremely angry”, ”I demand an apology”, ”lack of courtesy”, ”your failure” and ”I will sue”.
The document adds: ”Remember underlining of key words and phrases or the use of bold or capital letters designed to make certain parts of a letter stand out is also an indication of a complaint.”
Officials are given stock answers to common criticisms of the licence, including ”The BBC is producing poor programmes, some are offensive, I am only going to pay a proportion of the fee” and ”If an old person had received this letter they would have been very shocked”.
The two main companies contracted by the BBC to administer the TV licence received 35,000 complaints in 2008 and 37,000 in 2009, according to the TV Licensing website.
The manual, known as the TV Licensing Ask Helpscript, discloses that the Queen is exempt from paying the fee but other members of the Royal Family are not.
Prisoners do not need a licence for TVs in their cells or other communal areas because prisons are subject to Crown exemption.
But a licence is required by prison officers who live in jail grounds and have a TV in their accommodation or for a staff social club on the premises.
The document also notes: ”Diplomats enjoy immunity from prosecution. If they choose not to buy a TV licence, TV Licensing cannot enforce the law against them.
”Embassy buildings also have diplomatic protection and TV Licensing cannot enforce the law if the embassy chooses not to buy a TV licence.”
The BBC Trust announced last month that the licence fee would be frozen at £145.50 for at least a year because of the financial pressures on viewers.
A TV Licensing spokeswoman said: ”There are more than 25 million licences in force.
”In 2009-10 complaints totalled 29,900, representing 0.1% of all licence holders, which was a 16% decrease on the previous year.
”Complaint numbers are published each year in TV Licensing’s annual review.”
She added: ”The Government is responsible for setting the level of the licence fee and defines who needs a licence.”