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  1. #1 Lifestraw 
    Forum Freshman Carbon's Avatar
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    Everyone is talking about that so many people on earth haven't access to safe water. what's the problem?
    why not use this one:
    ( http://www.vestergaard-frandsen.com/...roduction.htm# )

    Sharing a passion to achieve the Millennium Development Goals such as poverty eradication, environmental up-gradation, gender equality, and specifically 'reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water' by the year 2015, we recognize the immense sense of urgency.

    At any given moment, about half of the world's poor are suffering from waterborne disease, of which over 6,000 - mainly children - die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water.

    Today, more than one billion people of the world's population are without access to safe drinking water, causing lack of safe water supply to rob women and young girls of dignity, literacy and time.

    Safe water interventions have vast potential to transform the lives of millions of people. Water filtration tools not only provide safe drinking water but also have a positive health impact on the most vulnerable populations, including young children, pregnant women and those with debilitated immune systems.

    The Cochrane review (2006) demonstrates that water filters are the most effective interventions amongst all point-of-use water treatment methods for reducing diarrhoeal diseases. This study also proves that it is not enough to treat water at the point-of-source; it must also be made safe at the point of consumption.




    Product Features

    Offers easy access to safe drinking water away from home.

    Filters a minimum of 700 litres of water.

    Kills and removes 99.999% of waterborne bacteria.

    Kills and removes 99% of waterborne viruses.

    Removes particles down to 15 microns.

    Requires no electrical power or spare parts for the life time of the straw.

    Easy to mass-distribute in areas where drinking water is contaminated.



    (discuss please)


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    • #2  
      Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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      It can't remove toxic and poisonous chemicals, can it?


      Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

      "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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      "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    • #3  
      Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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      Nor can it remove enteric viruses. (Is my suspition but I'll look it up since it claims to kill 99% of viruses).

      Edit: As I thought the reduction in virus load is not considered significant enough to remove risk of disease completely, although viruses are very hard to filter out.

      There website says it can't filter out gardia lambia either, it's pretty expensive as a filter for poor people though, a great tool for military personel I guess lol.
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    • #4  
      Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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      Better get a reverse osmosis and ozone treatment combo system then? But that would still not get rid of chemicals, toxins and poisons....but that would be much more expensive than the straw.
      Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

      "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
      "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
      "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    • #5  
      Time Lord
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      Eh, it's good for hikers. Safe drinking water is a dumbed-down term for safe potable water.
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    • #6  
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      Have you read the book "Three Cups of Tea?" it's a story of a man who, after his failed attempt at K2, promised to come back to the region to build schools for the peoples that nurtured him back to health afterwards. He is now the owner os his own business that builds schools in the region of Afghanistan/Pakistan and promotes the teaching of young woman. He is in direct opposition to the Taliban. On top of building schools he is also providing water treatment plants. Do you know how much these schools and plants cost? Roughly $20,000 each. That's just a drop in the bucket to what a school built in North America or Europe costs. It's a shame that we have millionaires and billionaires running around spending money on drugs and such while they have the money to save and school these people in these poor regions.

      The biggest reason why terrorism is growing in the world is because the Taliban and groups like them are instructing children in their group to hate (I mean aside from the foreign policy of the United States and other countries). It took one American to go into Afghanistan and build schools and water treatment centers in order to get those inhabitants to love him. If everyone who had the money went into the reguion and did the same terrorism against the western world would be almost completely wiped out.
      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    • #7  
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      Um, "the Taliban" literally translates as "the Students". Whose students are they? Their movement is the product of Pakistani border madrassas (religious schools) that were funded by CIA to produce militant anti-secularists, "freedom fighters" against atheist USSR.

      Oops, "death to secularists" is not a good classroom chant to teach. It spreads beyond the region. Let's teach "death to fundamentalists" instead, so those kids grow up hating the Taliban generation. And if someday this new generation of intolerants see the Jewish state or fundamentalist compounds in the US as ideological targets, we've got a fresh enemy. And so on.

      I'm all for social engineering but not for political ends in foreign countries. Funding schools as "direct opposition" to the Taliban is a very bad move.


      The water of Afghanistan belongs to all Afghanis. If we politicize these things we create conflict and as much destruction as development, and the country never rises.
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    • #8  
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      Quote Originally Posted by Pong
      Um, "the Taliban" literally translates as "the Students". Whose students are they? Their movement is the product of Pakistani border madrassas (religious schools) that were funded by CIA to produce militant anti-secularists, "freedom fighters" against atheist USSR.

      Oops, "death to secularists" is not a good classroom chant to teach. It spreads beyond the region. Let's teach "death to fundamentalists" instead, so those kids grow up hating the Taliban generation. And if someday this new generation of intolerants see the Jewish state or fundamentalist compounds in the US as ideological targets, we've got a fresh enemy. And so on.

      I'm all for social engineering but not for political ends in foreign countries. Funding schools as "direct opposition" to the Taliban is a very bad move.


      The water of Afghanistan belongs to all Afghanis. If we politicize these things we create conflict and as much destruction as development, and the country never rises.
      Funding schools in direct opposition to the Taliban is exactly what Greg Mortenson, the person that Three Cups of Tea is about, is actively pursuing and succeeding in. He builds them, funds them, and gives entire villages of people adequate supplies of books and so on. The people he is building these schools for love him because he is giving their children an opportunity they wouldn't have otherwise. The Taliban have destroyed his schools in the past. The Afghanis of the village were the ones who asked him to build them the water treatment building. It is their water and he is doing something about it that they wanted done.

      Also I did not say anywhere in my statement that I would consider saying death to anybody in their teachings an improvement. Give them knowledge and they'll figure it out for themselves. If you are there to help them in their journey their eyes will look kinder on you.

      And you misinterpretted what I meant by 'direct opposition'. What I should have said is 'direct opposition to the Talibans beliefs' in that he actively promotes the teaching of girls in order to bring the intelligence of a village as a whole up.
      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    • #9  
      Time Lord
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      We've been there before. The Soviets were propping up this socially progressive government, made a point of putting girls through collage, building the infrastructure and so forth. Not the Afghanistan we see today! But one had to buy into the ideology, to gain the largess. Some did, some didn't. Result: civil war.

      How is this aid scheme that explicitly demands "community buy-in" any better? It's making ideological pawns of villages. I don't want to fault good intentions. But really! We should know by now the havok of setting Afghanis against each other.
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    • #10  
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      Quote Originally Posted by Pong
      We've been there before. The Soviets were propping up this socially progressive government, made a point of putting girls through collage, building the infrastructure and so forth. Not the Afghanistan we see today! But one had to buy into the ideology, to gain the largess. Some did, some didn't. Result: civil war.

      How is this aid scheme that explicitly demands "community buy-in" any better? It's making ideological pawns of villages. I don't want to fault good intentions. But really! We should know by now the havok of setting Afghanis against each other.
      They are going to be against each other regardless. Most want schooling. The people that take things to the extremes are usually the people that gain power the quickest because they are the most head strong. However, Greg Mortenson, the person I mentioned above, is in that area doing exactly what I'm talking about. He's there right now and he's built hundreds of schools and water treatment plants in order to achieve his goals. His goals are to bring knowledge and schooling to the area. And after reading the book I learned that he's succeeding. Are you going to tell this guy to his face that what he's doing is wrong? Are you going to tell those villages that are so thankful to him, they love him like family and treat him as such, that what he is doing is wrong? Are you trying to tell me that bringing books and such into a newly built school so children can learn is wrong? Are you going to tell them they can't have clean water because it's wrong?

      I'm not talking from a political standpoint. What I am doing is talking from a humanitarian standpoint. In order to bring prosperity to these people, and for them to be thankful, this person, his company, and whichever other humanitarian organization needs to increase the knowledge of the people who want things to change so they can take control. And there are a lot more of them who want this sort of thing than any forum or political website will tell you. People can argue all day about what's the right thing to do and what's not the right thing to do but Mr. Mortenson is making things happen. I have an incredible amount of respect for him much as I do for other people who do things such as he does.

      My greatest hero is probably Terry Fox. He died for his cause. Mr. Mortenson was kidnapped and held hostage for his cause. He has faced the Taliban and other Muslim extremist organizations for his cause. He could have died for his cause as well but he continues to see it through regardless.
      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    • #11  
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      I sense you're missing the larger picture.

      Google "madrassa" and you'll learn that by-and-large they're just charitable orphanages and free schools for poor folk which teach koran literacy at minimum but also the curriculum you'd expect from elementary schools. And if Pakistan is anything to go by, they enroll as many girls as boys. This is the established system in Afghanistan.

      Punch "madrassa" into Google news, you'll learn real quick the Bush admin considers these donor-funded Islamic schools the source of terrorism. The enemy. There is much open discussion about how to eliminate them. You'll also learn madrassas are being airstriked and raided at a steady rate. Do you know what happens when soldiers "clear" a building?

      Still, there must be a lot of children wandering around without schools now, eh?

      Try to understand the role Mortenson's Central Asia Institute plays in this. I'm not saying the intentions are bad. But would you do me one more favour? Try a skeptical view, despite the inspiring book. Find out what CAI actually provides, concretely, vs. what the locals put in and would likely do anyway, and what strings are attached. Check CAI's standing with Better Business Bureau. And reflect that Mortenson is very much in the business of promoting this non-profit to Western donors. Has he really built hundreds of schools and water treatment plants?
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    • #12  
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      Quote Originally Posted by Pong
      I sense you're missing the larger picture.

      Google "madrassa" and you'll learn that by-and-large they're just charitable orphanages and free schools for poor folk which teach koran literacy at minimum but also the curriculum you'd expect from elementary schools. And if Pakistan is anything to go by, they enroll as many girls as boys. This is the established system in Afghanistan.

      Punch "madrassa" into Google news, you'll learn real quick the Bush admin considers these donor-funded Islamic schools the source of terrorism. The enemy. There is much open discussion about how to eliminate them. You'll also learn madrassas are being airstriked and raided at a steady rate. Do you know what happens when soldiers "clear" a building?

      Still, there must be a lot of children wandering around without schools now, eh?

      Try to understand the role Mortenson's Central Asia Institute plays in this. I'm not saying the intentions are bad. But would you do me one more favour? Try a skeptical view, despite the inspiring book. Find out what CAI actually provides, concretely, vs. what the locals put in and would likely do anyway, and what strings are attached. Check CAI's standing with Better Business Bureau. And reflect that Mortenson is very much in the business of promoting this non-profit to Western donors. Has he really built hundreds of schools and water treatment plants?
      From the BBB website on the CAI: http://charityreports.bbb.org/Public...x?CharityID=28

      "CAI's education projects support schools, teachers and students. CAI's women's education program supports women's vocational centers, infant oral rehydration programs, maternal health care scholarships, and eye technician scholarships. CAI's public health and conservation program has a focus on supporting potable water projects, water filtration systems, sanitation and latrine projects, and rural health care camps. CAI's projects involve local people in all phases of projects to plan, implement and evaluate. A committee of elders and experts guides each selected project. Before a project starts, the community matches Central Asia Institute project funds with equal amounts of local resources and labor"

      Doesn't sound so bad to me. On the CAI website (http://www.ikat.org/about-cai/history/) it says that the company has built a total of 64 schools in the area.

      The BBB states that it can account for only 6 of the 20 Standards for a Charitable Accountability, those being:

      4. Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

      8. Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

      9. Spend no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising.

      10. Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.

      13. Accurately report the charity's expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements.

      20. Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy policy violations and/or other issues.


      The BBB further goes on to state the remaining 14 Standards only 3 of them have been found to not meet the criteria of a charitable organization while the other 11 are still being looked into. The 3 that it does not meet are:

      Standard 2 : Number of Board Members - Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.

      CAI only has 4 voting members

      Standard 17 : Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

      the CAI website does not include CAI's financial information.

      Standard 18: (It's long so I won't post it all here)

      The CAI website does not include a privacy policy.

      Also there has been 1 complaint from the BBB toward CAI that was dealt with in an adequate amount of time.


      How much money would have to be spent in order to build those 64 schools? At $20,000 each that would total $1,280,000 (Thought I'm sure the price has gone up in the 10 years since MR. Mortenson began his operation). The annual income in 2005 for an Afghani individual was $256 per annum. Please explain to me how a village on the edge of a mountainous region could afford to build a school for $20,000 with an average $256 per year salary?

      Also, during the period of 2001 - 2005 the website http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/CIDAWEB/a...-102283559-GSJ states:

      "female literacy has more than doubled from 13 to 28 percent, and primary school enrollment has risen from 700,000, all of them male, to well over five million, more than one-third of them girls."
      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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    • #13  
      Time Lord
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      Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
      How much money would have to be spent in order to build those 64 schools? At $20,000 each that would total $1,280,000 (Thought I'm sure the price has gone up in the 10 years since MR. Mortenson began his operation). The annual income in 2005 for an Afghani individual was $256 per annum. Please explain to me how a village on the edge of a mountainous region could afford to build a school for $20,000 with an average $256 per year salary?
      Cost? If people wouldn't shoot up the traditional school system to replace with teachers and materials of their own, the answer is: none.

      Now there's no use blaming one faction or the other for historic wrongs. After decades of civil war(s) Afghanistan has very little public infrastructure intact. I think that firstly we should cease disrupting and destroying what infrastructure remains just because a particular tribe or village sympathizes with "the enemy". We should not play that game. We should not wade in as yet another crusader/jihadi/revolutionary faction opposed to this or that.

      I value stability over winning a faction of hearts and minds to me & my way. Even if I find some conditions of that larger stability abhorrent. CAI is not a stabilizing influence - it's a faction run by US army vet whose friends are right now targeting Islamic schools and infrastructure. Remove CAI. Disentangle. Let people determine their own causes.

      So then what? We watch impatiently as villages rebuild, in sad proportion to the quoted $256/person yearly income. Well, ditch diggers and teachers won't cost much will they? From position of neutrality there is no harm in offering aid, strictly humanitarian aid allocated not by faction but by need. If a fundamentalist village is in crisis, then we help those people out.


      I think that's enough political distraction for this thread. So BumFluff maybe you could give a closing argument and we'll let it rest.
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    • #14  
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      Quote Originally Posted by Pong
      Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
      How much money would have to be spent in order to build those 64 schools? At $20,000 each that would total $1,280,000 (Thought I'm sure the price has gone up in the 10 years since MR. Mortenson began his operation). The annual income in 2005 for an Afghani individual was $256 per annum. Please explain to me how a village on the edge of a mountainous region could afford to build a school for $20,000 with an average $256 per year salary?
      Cost? If people wouldn't shoot up the traditional school system to replace with teachers and materials of their own, the answer is: none.

      Now there's no use blaming one faction or the other for historic wrongs. After decades of civil war(s) Afghanistan has very little public infrastructure intact. I think that firstly we should cease disrupting and destroying what infrastructure remains just because a particular tribe or village sympathizes with "the enemy". We should not play that game. We should not wade in as yet another crusader/jihadi/revolutionary faction opposed to this or that.

      I value stability over winning a faction of hearts and minds to me & my way. Even if I find some conditions of that larger stability abhorrent. CAI is not a stabilizing influence - it's a faction run by US army vet whose friends are right now targeting Islamic schools and infrastructure. Remove CAI. Disentangle. Let people determine their own causes.

      So then what? We watch impatiently as villages rebuild, in sad proportion to the quoted $256/person yearly income. Well, ditch diggers and teachers won't cost much will they? From position of neutrality there is no harm in offering aid, strictly humanitarian aid allocated not by faction but by need. If a fundamentalist village is in crisis, then we help those people out.


      I think that's enough political distraction for this thread. So BumFluff maybe you could give a closing argument and we'll let it rest.
      I realize that this thread has been going off on a tangent and I have been trying to keep it going on with the current discussion in stating how the company is helping members of different communities in that area with cleaning up their water supply. I'm curious as to why you see Mr. Mortenson as one of the problems. He wasn't one of the people who began shooting up the schools. He actually started doing this before the war even began and before American government started destroying schools. What makes you think that every small society in this region has access to schools? I'm actually quite surprised that anyone would begin arguing with what this man is doing over there. You seem to be saying "Let them work it out for themselves". This man began building schools because of his failed attempt at K2 and the kindness and compassion the villagers of one area showed him in nursing him back to health. From there he made a promise that he would come back and build a school for them because it was needed. All the schools he's built have been welcomed, planned and built by members of Mortensons group and the society which they are building it for. What you are discussing in 'letting them do it themselves' is exactly what is happening. You also seem to think that school books, building supplies and school supplies just fall out of thin air.
      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt" - Bertrand Russell
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