Mining is linked to water pollution, deforestation and environmental degradation, as well as conflict and violence due to land grabbing, the fracturing of the social fabric of communities, and human right violations in Honduras. According to survey results, community residents experience high levels of water and food insecurity and limited access to education and health services.
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For decades, people from Urmera in Timor-Leste’s Liquica district used to wake early each morning and then walk four kilometers up a hill to collect water and walk back down again. That all ended in October 2016 thanks to a project initiated by the Jesuit Social Service (JSS) which brought clean water literally to his door step.
A Catholic sister has added her voice to those protesting Detroit’s aggressive campaign to shut off water to thousands of households in arrears on their water bills. For Sister of Mercy Mary Ellen Howard, the fight here is elemental. “Water is life,” she said, “when you shut off water, you shut off life.”
The OK Clean Water Project began in 2003 as a partnership between two groups of people – one in Ottawa, Canada, and one in Kumbo, Cameroon, Africa. Of the 21 families living there, 11 had no access to potable water and had to rely on a polluted stream or walk long distances for water. The Ottawa group responded by raising $3,000 to help these 11 families. And thus the Ottawa-Kumbo partnership was born and was named “OK Clean Water Project”.
This Statement from the 8th World Water Forum brings together the contributions of nominated leaders, organizers, and participants in the Special Session “Water and Spirituality: An Encounter with the Sacred,” with the purpose of collaborating for a holistic approach to water, sustained by a spiritual, ethical, and ecological vision and the culture of peace.
Water is the entry point for those on the justice-peace journey, Sr. Maura McGrath says. “Water is life, it’s sacred, so it’s got to be our way into making any moves in terms of equality and human rights,” said the Congregation of Notre Dame sister from Montreal, one of many women religious around the world employing creative measures to make those moves concrete in their communities.