Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The right to water, water, water ...

The Ecumenical Water Network continues to encourage churches to get involved in advocating the human right to water.

There is an article here about prepaid water meters and how this system often means that the very poorest with the worst access to water are penalised even further through reduced and expensive access to this life-giving precious resource. There are links here to the pre-paid water metre photo gallery.

You can also download the Waters of Life document for further ideas here.

About two weeks ago I spent my lunchtime interpreting for the wonderful Roman Catholic bishop emeritus of Gaujos Dom Balduino, who was in Europe to raise the profile of the protest a against the Brazilian government's project to divert the Sao Francisoco river. He and others in the campaign highlight alternative projects to the one proposed, and are trying to expose the effects of the proposed changes to the peoples and environment of the area as well as raise international awareness of the problem. Another bishop Dom Luiz, bishop of Barra has already gone on hunger strike twice against the proposed river diversion, as Franciscans International report here.

The problem with the government's project is that it supports the aims of big businees, bringing water to big maize and grain producers but takes absolutely no account of the water and broader ecological needs of the local population.
You can find a letter here on the issue from the WCC general secretary to the Brazilian president Lula da Silva. Get information in your own language about internationa large scale water projects which may have an irreversible effect on local populations. Join EWN's campaign for the human right to water.