At all times, I have hundreds of email pitches in my inbox for potential feature stories in future issues of pme.
Many of these pitches do not hit the target for our audience. Are you really interested in reading about an unemployment-themed reality TV show? I didn’t think so.
Sometimes we get a home-run story that will be an interesting read for our subscribers. One of those is the feature on the Blue Schools Programme and its mission to provide developing countries the tools necessary to create water-reuse systems. To read the full feature, please flip to page 53.
The Blue Schools Programme was developed by Geneva, Switzerland-based International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance and has created systems in Africa, Asia and other remote locations. Its mission is to “increase the number of schools in the world with access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation facilities.”
Our primary focus at pme will always be on the systems being designed and the emerging trends in the U.S. market. But, there are times when I believe it is prudent to take a larger view and see what our industry is doing throughout the world – especially when it is for the betterment of society.
When you read the Blue Schools feature, you notice one of the major goals the association tries to achieve is to provide safe access to toilets for children and women. This really struck a chord and it is not something I have spoken about before in this space.
When I put together the bi-monthly pme eNewsletter, one of the first actions I take is to do a Google search for “toilets.” If you are a regular reader of the eNewsletter, you will notice I try to find as many industry-related news stories as possible. I want to provide our subscribers pertinent information that will help them in their businesses.
Secondarily, I am also on the hunt for “news of weird.” A public toilet installed in an unusual place to entice visitors? Yes, I will put in a link for that. A cat being rescued from a pipe? Of course, I know our subscribers will read that story and view the accompanying video.
Sometimes, there is a dark side to this specific Google search and the stories are exactly what the Blue School Programme is attempting to eradicate. Many times, I see news stories about women and children being assaulted – sometimes killed — while using remote public toilets. No, I do not intend to put these stories in the newsletter, but I want you to know they are definitely out there.
That’s what makes the Blue Schools Programme so important. They are doing a yeoman’s effort to make people’s lives safer and better.
I know I have said this before, but the world continues to shrink and I believe the industry needs to think globally. If an organization such as the Blue Schools Programme can help turn around a region’s economy (even in the slightest manner) with a water-reuse system, that is a positive for all involved.
Bigger picture, we should be working together to make society safer for everyone. For this, I truly applaud the work the Blue Schools Programme is doing.