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The economic unrest and military threats from countries like North Korea, which wants to develop and use nuclear weapons, have harmed the solidarity of the Asian people on the continent. This menace was put an end by the six-party talks in 2007, but tensions have since risen as China has been reluctant to call on North Korea to stop its acts of war, which not only cause unrest in Asia but also around the world. Since their independence, India and Pakistan have been at war, which poses another threat to the stability of the Asian continent. Their boarder disputes have caused lot of chaos that have destroyed lives and property. For example in East Asia there are 18 countries, but unfortunately ten of those have been experiencing internal conflicts (Evans et al para1). Some of these countries include Afghanistan, Thailand, and Sir lanka whose protracted conflicts have slowed the pace of development in the Asian regions due to instability created during conflicts. Studies have revealed that the average time for a conflict in the Asian region have been at least three decades, this situation disrupts all form of development I nations and regions. For example, Philippine has placed at least half of its armed forces at the Mindanao and other war tone zones which has strained the government budget at strained the citizens to pay the taxes to sustain the war in these regions. Unfortunately, amidst of all these struggles the most valuable natural resource which is water is constantly being polluted and Asian will soon run out of safe drinking water. The pollution from agricultural activities, domestic, and industrial use has become a threat to water bodies. These challenges can be utilized to encourage the unit of the Asian community. Uniting to fight the water pollution concern will create an avenue for all Asian parties to find solution to other conflicts.
Solving water pollution concern to unite the Asian community
The Asian conflicts that has always been there before and after colonial rule have hindered the success of the Asia community. Therefore there is need to identify a unifying factor that can help change the situation. Some of the means of enhancing collaboration between conflicting or even peaceful parties is by engaging them in solving a common challenge. In Asia all forms of population are rapidly growing but that of water pollution has drawn the greatest attention. At the moment Asia is divided into various regions such as South Asia, Far East Asian, Central and North Asian. These regional segment have isolated each other which have widened the economic and social disparities. For instance, the Asian wealth is considered more concentrated in the East Asian region in nations such as japan, Singapore and China. These regions due to their high industrial activities are also considered the greatest water polluters. Studies have revealed that each person per day requires to use at least between twenty and fifty liters of water each day for basic domestic needs. This is very unfortunate in Asian for example in developed country like china almost half of its population do not have access to safe drinking water due to the pollution of water bodies. Other nations in the region such as India, Bangladesh, and Nepal are also experiencing the same trend hence intensifying the issue of water shortage. The shortage of water means that agricultural activities will not take place and hence a new challenge of food scarcity will arise and with each problem another follows which will eventually lead to the decline of a nation.
The water pollution concern is not only an issue to the amount of water Asian access but also on the eruption of waterborne diseases (Luby 122). Studies have shown that both rural and urban water supplies in the South Asian are frequently polluted with the human fecal matter. Despite the 85% of the water in this region meeting the minimal standards for safe water, still the concern of population is rampant. Most people rely on buying bottled water, of dubious quality, but those who cannot afford are forced to take the contaminated. This means many people due to low purchasing power in the region take the contaminated water which contributes to mortality. Unifying the Asian community to utilize the available technology and water security mechanism can help improve the availability and quality of water. In the early 20th century American cities were served with municipal water that was untreated, which was attributed to high child mortality. However, with the introduction effective water treatment mechanisms the child mortality concern dropped by more than 45% (Han, Matthew and Guoliang 1222). The condition that were attributes to the death and were eradicated by availability of safe water was diarrhoeal. The ground water which is the remaining hope for having safe water, since it is rarely exposed to the direct contamination as water in the surface, but it is also on the threat. The South Asian contaminate the groundwater with the high volumes arsenic which affects the survival of children and those who grow in such environments show developmental disorders. This situation requires a united Asian community to pull efforts and eradicate or minimize the problem. This is because the contamination of water bodies in china or Singapore will spread to other water bodies in other parts of Asian and once shared the problem become endemic to the region. The pollution of the water also leads to the pollution of the air. For instance, the acid materials deposited on the seas by companies during evaporation to the sky they contribute in the formation of the acid rain. The acid rain corrode cars and stone building. It also leads to respiratory problem such as chronic bronchitis which is a leading global public health concern due to the mortality and morbidity cases linked to it. Therefore the Asian community need to forge a union that will help address this challenge as it affects all sectors of life.
The challenge of population growth in Asian has led to activities that have intensified water pollution in the region. In 2016 statistics it was revealed that Asian represents more than half of the global population. This mean that the demands of goods and services also is rapid to an extent of straining the ecosystem. The need to grow more food crops and manufacture more products in factories has contributed immensely on the water pollution concern in the Asian regions. Therefore the annual water withdrawals and return flows in Asian are the highest than in any parts of the world (Luby 123). The region produces high volume of waste water at more than 140km cubic excluding the agricultural wastes. Coupled by the inadequate sewage systems, poor water treatment programs, and inadequate sanitation facilities leads to the waste waters reaching the water bodies untreated and hence water pollution. When human beings consume this contaminated water they get sick and those who avoid taking it they suffer due to water scarcity. The agricultural activities utilize agrochemicals which are washed to the lakes and other waterbodies hence destroying the aquatic life and compromising the purity of the water. The population grow and requires to clear more land for farming and habitation which affects the forests which are rain catchment places. This situation leads to soil erosion and dying up of rivers which adds strain the water demand. The lack of water is also a challenge for farmers who need the water to grow the crops. The population growth intensifies the demand for food which means more chemical will be used to grow crops. The chemicals are then washed off to water bodies and the underground water reservoirs making it impossible to consume these waters. The Asian community can pull efforts to manage the problem by controlling the use and contamination of water sources. From the 1990 to the early 2000s the agricultural activities increased in Asian which was sparked by the rapid population growth. To improve sustainability in the production of food commodities, the use of fertilizer was introduced. The outcome of this agricultural revolution was the pollution of more than 50% of the water bodies in the region (Luby 124). The high level of nutrients from agricultural water drainage led to eutrophication in the lakes and oceans. The algae bloom was a common situation in the water bodies and this contaminated the fresh water sources including the fishes and other aquatic animals. The situation was worse especially in chine but due to the interconnectedness of the water bodies the whole of Asia shared the problem. This meant that each nation make efforts to deal with the problem, but little was achieved through this method. For instance, between 1990 and 2008 the efforts to improve water quality by East Asian nations was achieved but it declined in the central Asia. The outcome was shared challenge of poor water quality in the Asian region as water bodies are connected and controlling the flow of water is impossible.
Therefore the dealing with the problem can only be achieved through regional collaboration among all nations in the Asian community. As shown above the issue is trivial and hence calling for collaboration among Asian nation will not only steer unity but also development. This situation will ensure the Asians speak as a block and confront their challenges as team, this situation will promote prove and rapid developments in the region. The concern is grave and hence parties will be motivated to take part in finding a solution, and in the process nations in the region will have less interests in fighting against each other. Formulating an institution that will bring regional leaders on a regular basis to address the issue of water pollution, safety, and such related topic can improve the Asian unity and minimize conflicts. The UNESCO has introduced the Global Water Forums which brings world leaders together with researchers and practitioners of water issue to address the water concern across the globe. In the forum evidence based information is presented and leaders discussed about it and design strategies that help minimize the water pollution, scarcity, and safety. The forum uses the chance to address the regional water challenges that contribute the greatest concern to the world. Asian has consistently been o the limelight for the most polluted region in the world, with effects spreading to other neighboring regions (Luby 123). The discussion in this forum are unbiased and non-judgmental, as they aim to achieve a consolidated water management system that benefits all people across the world. Empowering member states by offering knowledge and financial supports improves the fight on the water pollution. Each region is them given responsibilities to control their amount of pollution and when this has been done across the world the quality and availability of water is expected to improve. This forums allows the world leaders to interact and reason together which improves the diplomatic ties between nations. It creates an opportunity for leaders to share and solve other issues other than water problem in the region. For this reasons, the Asian community can formulate such a forum for addressing the main concern in the continent to improve their unity. It is clear that if they make efforts to solve the problem, it will not be a big challenge to try and solve other challenges for instance the border disputes.
Despite the Chinese who are the Asian economic against makes serious efforts to deal with ground and surface water pollution, still more than 200 million people are consuming contaminated water (Han et al., 1223). For instance, the recent the contamination of the ground water in Lanzhou which is the main supplier for water in the city, became an emergency that led to shutdown of the water plant. The contamination was used to the pollution by a nearby petrochemical company. This and other similar situations leaves china with the nation with the highest water crises in the world. As shown above as much as china is a rich and powerful nation dealing with its water issue remains a challenge, since they share the regional problem as water bodies are interconnected. This mean that only through regional collaboration will china address the issue comprehensively. Furthermore, the Asian region have been able to identify and recognize the environmental challenges it has been facing since the early 1990s. This problem persisted until the early 2000s when the regional leaders realized that those challenges could only be handled though regional cooperation. For example they had issues of dust and sand storm which placed South Korea as the most affected party. For instance, in 2015 it experienced the highest loss due to the destruction of property and forcing companies to shut down due to the sand storm issue. The estimated economic loss at that incidence was at least $5 billion (Jung, 2). Japan was also a victim of the same storm but due to its preparedness it was not severely impacted. This shows that if the two nations had collaborated it could have had a joint mitigation strategy which would have minimized the economic impact that South Korea was forced to endure. WHO report revealed that air pollution in China significantly affects the Japanese and Korean people. This means that the Japanese and Korean no matter the effort they put to deal with the problem, they cannot succeed unless they collaborate with the Chinese. It also means that the conflicts that maybe between the three nations in the problem, may hinder the process of finding a solution to the problem. Therefore it is only through unity in the issue that the challenge can be addressed. Each party may play a role that when aggregated it leads to the desired state of things. The North-East Asia Sub regional Program for Environment Cooperation was a movement that was proposed by South Korean for the pacific nation to help deal with its environmental concerns at the United nation meeting on economic development in 1992 (Jung 3). Five Asian countries were incorporated including Russia which is just on the Asian border although it’s a European nation. With the establishing of such an organization, the environmental issues in the Japanese and South Korean territories were improved as Chia collaborated and started to treat its industrial smoke and other waste materials which reduced the air pollution that plundered in the region.
Additionally, they established biding conventions such as air pollution reduction policy that was observed by all member states. These terms ensured that the nations that violated the standards were to be subjected on agreed forms of punishment. This mutual agreement led to an improved air quality in the regions. This was progress as the nations continued to form more binding treaty to protect their mutual interests. The presence of a mutual interest is already a unifying factor. This could be attributed to the economic success that the Chinese and Japanese have been able to display in the region. For this reason, unifying the Asian community will call for collaboration between these nation by forming biding treaties to address the water concern which as shown above cannot be addressed by efforts of a single nation. Additionally, the mutual understanding automatically steers the efforts for economic development which improve the regional stability. The economic disparity experienced in some regions of Asian such as South East Asian can be improved by considering cooperation on solving a common problem across Asia. This will encourage the nations to work towards other goals apart from the water problem. The water problem is a serious challenge that will compel all nations to focus in solving it for this reason it is an effective platform to pull all actors together. The challenge has evenly affected Asians and since no economic strength can settle it focusing on mutual responsibility will compel all Asian nations to unite on the problem. The outcome of such a union will lead to other development and support for the poorest nations in Asia.
In conclusion, the need for Asian unity is to promote developments in the region. Unfortunately, the economic disparity in the region such as japan and china being highly developed and Nepal being among the poorest o earth may hinder the collaboration. However, by focusing on a serious concern that will involve all nations in the region can be a valuable to tool to forge unity. The issue of water pollution with china being the richest and most affects allows a chance for other small nations to contribute. The problem is mutual and cannot be solved by a single nation hence by forging mutual binding treaties the challenges will be addressed and Asian will be unified in the process.
Evans, Alexandra EV, et al. "Water pollution in Asia: The urgent need for prevention and monitoring." Water Qual 9 (2012): 1-4.
Han, Dongmei, Matthew J. Currell, and Guoliang Cao. "Deep challenges for China's war on water pollution." Environmental Pollution 218 (2016): 1222-1233.
Jung, Woosuk. "Environmental challenges and cooperation in Northeast Asia." Focus Asia 16 (2016).
Luby, Stephen. "Water Quality in South Asia." Journal of health, population, and nutrition 26.2 (2008): 123.
Ramos, Fidel. “Uniting Asia.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 19 July 2007, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/jul/19/unitingasia.
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