Issue

Water and Sanitation

Water issues affect us all, from the women who spend hours a day fetching water to political battles over international rivers to melting icepack and rising sea levels. We are all downstream.

Worldwide, just under 900 million people lack reliable access to safe water that is free from disease and industrial waste. And 40 percent do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities. The result is one of the world's greatest public health crises: 4,500 children die every day from waterborne diseases, more than from HIV-AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

A robust economy depends on water. So does a thriving ecosystem. Enter politics, fulcrum of the water issue, weighing the fate of economies against the health of individuals and of the environment as a whole. Balance has been elusive. One fifth of the world's population lives in areas where water is physically scarce, and a quarter of the population faces shortages due to lack of infrastructure.

Water and Sanitation was produced by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in partnership with National Geographic, PBS NewsHour, the Common Language Project, and the Under-Told Stories Project. Support provided by the Laird Norton Family Foundation and individual donors.

 

 

Water and Sanitation

Tajikistan's Dream

Poor, landlocked, and bedeviled by its neighbors, Tajikistan is staking its future on the one resource it has in abundance.

The Tajiks Who Fight Their Own Government

In a remote region of Tajikistan, the government used U.S.-trained special forces to aggressively pursue local warlords. The operation backfired — the special forces suffered a humiliating defeat.

Stolen Trash Bins Contribute to Malaria, Flooding

In Ghana trash is often disposed of in gutters––creating stagnant pools of water that become breeding grounds for insects. Efforts to introduce trash bins have met with little success––and much theft.

Round Two: Winning Essays

In May 2008, the Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to continue its second round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing Contest. Find the winning essays here.

Round One: Winning Essays

In March 2008, The Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to launch its first round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Contest. Find the winning essays here.

One World Features Pulitzer Center's "Water Wars" Project

OneWorld.net highlights the Pulitzer Center's ongoing "Water Wars: Ethiopia and Kenya" reporting project on February 28 in the Today's News section of its website. The project, conducted by the young journalists of the Common Language Project, addresses the increasing scarcity of water in East Africa and how the shortage is fueling conflict in the region.

See OneWorld's feature in its February 28 Today's News section.

South America: Untold Stories

South America Discussion Series

October/November 2007

Presented by: Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting / Virginia Quarterly Review

South America : Untold Stories

Journalists Bring their Stories Home

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November 5 : Washington University in St. Louis

In partnership with Sigma Iota Rho, Washington University's International Studies Honorary Society, International & Area Studies and Latin American Studies