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Access to Safe Water
Complete these exercises with information from Photo 2.

Photo 2 Exercises with Answers

Photo courtesy of the InterAmerican Development Bank.

1. Look at the photograph. Describe what you see. [Children are washing their hands and playing with water at an outdoor spigot.]

2. Would this be a common scene in your country? Why or why not? [Answers will vary.]

3. In which country was this photograph taken? [Guatemala]

4. Find the country in the world and regional map gallery. What region is it in? [North and Central America and the Caribbean]

5. Find the country in the Basic Data Table and determine if it is a low-, middle-, or high-income economy. [It is a middle-income economy.]

6. According to the Basic Data Table, what is this country's projected population growth rate for 1998-2015? [2.5%] Its 1998 life expectancy at birth? [64 years] Its 1998 GNP per capita? [$1,340] The percentage of its 1990-1996 population with access to safe water? [64%]

7. What do you think life is like for the average person in this country? Support your answer. [Answers will vary, but should take into account the possible effects of the population growth rate, the GNP per capita, and the percentage of the population with access to safe water on the quality of life.]

8. What, if any, aspects of the activity shown in the photograph might help improve living standards in industrial countries? In developing countries? [Possible answer: In both industrial and developing countries, frequent handwashing can help prevent disease. People are more likely to wash their hands if they have easy access to safe water and are educated in the benefits of good hygiene.]

9. Which sector of development (i.e., social, economic or environmental) is best represented by the photograph? [Environmental] Explain your answer. Is it possible for this photograph to represent other sectors as well? In what way? [Answers will vary.]

10. In what ways might the activity in the photograph encourage sustainable development? In what ways might it discourage sustainable development? Explain your answer. [Possible answer: Studies have suggested that improved access to safe water and sanitation can cause dramatic improvements in health and life expectancy. When people are healthier, they tend to be more productive and hence are better able to contribute to sustainable development. In addition, when children are healthier, infant mortality decreases and parents tend to be content with having fewer children. The resulting slowing of population growth rates can lessen the stress on social, financial, and natural resources. The activity in the photograph may discourage sustainable development if the children pictured are wasting the water, or if there is no wastewater treatment process in place. In the long run, overusing water resources or neglecting to clean wastewater can seriously compromise the environment's ability to provide enough safe water for the future.]
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