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Water Wars, Corruption and Poverty Are Often the Norm in Developing Countries - Fred Schantz

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October 8, 2012

Water Wars, Corruption and Poverty Are Often the Norm in Developing Countries

Interview with Former Third World Aid Worker and World Traveler Fred Schantz

Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, October 8, 2012 Sponsored by Nature's Tears® EyeMist®

In many developing countries of the world, inadequate and unsafe water, starvation, poverty, political corruption, water wars and violence are everyday facts of life for most inhabitants. They are also facts of life for aid workers who desire to help improve lives in third world countries through improved health care and economic development assistance.

Author, journalist, blogger and world traveler Fred Schantz spent 22 years as an aid worker in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Kenya Brazil, Egypt and Bangladesh. After earning a degree in Literature and Anthropology, Schantz became one of the original Peace Corps volunteers (in Kenya). He eventually earned an MA in Anthropology and an MS in Agriculture.

Schantz currently resides in Medford, Oregon and was interviewed by Sharon Kleyne on the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water syndicated radio show on October 8, 2012. The subject of water wars, water availability and water safety in developing countries fits the show's themes of water, health and the environment.

The show is sponsored by Nature's Tears® EyeMist®.

Sharon noted that water availability and safety are critical issues in most countries in which Schantz has worked. While the Kenyan drought that was decimating the animal and human populations is finally beginning to ease up, most conflicts in the world ultimately trace to water. In the words of author Stephen Solomon, on an overcrowded and drying planet, "water is the new oil."

Fred Schantz added that most rivers in third world countries - usually the country's lifeline and primary water source - are virtual cesspools. River Blindness, a parasitic disease that can be picked up by working in infested waters, is the third most common cause of blindness worldwide. Schantz identified two related problems: The people in developing countries are too often not educated on proper hygiene to prevent these diseases and politicians in these countries are too often corrupt and unwilling to spend limited resources on public health.

According to Schantz, the conflict in Israel ultimately traces to water wars. The Dead Sea is highly salty but the Jordan River and its feeder streams are a prime source of fresh water in the region, on both sides of the valley. So controlling the Jordan Valley is highly strategic. Schantz concluded that the country with the most guns usually has the most water.

Schantz and Sharon Kleyne also discussed Schantz's Native American heritage. He was born in Yreka, California and is a distant relative of Chief Shasta, after whom the mountain is named. His people believe that water is a gift from nature to everyone and that it cannot be owned. Ownership of water, according to Schantz, almost always comes at somebody else's expense (If you live upstream, even if there is barely enough water for your family, the people downstream will probably take a dim view of your failure to leave any for them).

There was a brief discussion on the history of food. In this regard, Schantz divides the world into two groups. The "techies" who believe that technology can solve all human problems, and the "doomsday people" who believe that increased food production will simply stimulate population growth and that eventually, the population will always overtake the lands' carrying capacity.

The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water is broadcast live on Mondays, 10 a.m., PST/PDT. The syndicated radio talk show is heard on Voice America/World Talk Radio, Green Talk Network and Apple iTunes. Go to for written summaries and on-demand podcast replays of al shows, including the October 1, 2012 interview with Bill Deane.

The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water is sponsored by Nature's Tears® EyeMist® - all natural 100% water mist to instantly and conveniently sooth dry, dehydrated, tired and irritated eyes.

© 2012 Bio-Logic Aqua Research (137).