Friday, 6 April 2012

Waterborne Diseases in Inuit Communities

As global warming triggers heavier rainfall and snowmelt in the Arctic faster reports Inuit communities in Canada, several cases of health problems attributed to the pathogens that have washed into surface water and groundwater, according to a new study.

The findings confirm past research that suggests an indigenous people throughout the world are disproportionately affected by climate change. This is because many of them live in the regions where its effects are felt first and most strongly, and they can come to closer contact with the natural environment on a daily basis. For example, missing some indigenous communities’ access to treated water because they are far away from urban areas. (See a map of the region).

"In the North, a lot of communities [Inuit] prefer to drink the brook water instead of treated water. It's just a preference, "said study lead author Sheri lee Harper, a Vanier Canada graduate scholar in epidemiology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. "Also, when they are out in the countryside and hunting or fishing, they don't have access to tap water, so they drink water brook."

Experiences of Inuit and other indigenous communities struggle to adapt to changing climate conditions can help guide humanity in the coming years as the effects of climate change are felt universally, researchers say.

"These communities are like crystal balls in order to understand what can happen when these changes start materializing over the next ten years down South, as they will for sure," said James Ford of McGill University, an expert in indigenous adaptation to climate change, change that was not involved in the study.

"Researchers often talk about how if global temperature increase by 4 degrees Celsius [8 ° F], it will be catastrophic climate change effects, Ford said," but where i am working in the Arctic, we have already seen that 4 degrees Celsius change. "

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