Water and Protests and Life
"Water: it's the name of the game."
Eleven years ago, as we walked along the Jordan River, as we looked across irrigated fields from the Golan Heights, as we made our way to the Dead Sea, our guide repeatedly stated: "Water, it's the name of the game."
Creation cannot survive without water. The earth is the Blue Planet. We understand the reality of Conservation of Matter: we have the water we have.
El Salvador is a petri dish for water issues. Almost ALL of the surface water is contaminated. Blame lack of environmental protection laws. Blame foreign businesses. Blame big agriculture. Although the country has a long rainy season, the rains do not have the chance to soak into the aquifers in order to replenish deeper, cleaner water sources. Blame big agriculture. Blame urbanization and pavement.
Within this context, the current legislature is working to set up a law that would allow water to be privatized. If you want to study the details about the proposed law and the long struggle which Salvadorans have had in trying to protect their right to protect and access this precious, life-giving resource, you can check out this story from El Salvador Perspectives. You can also check out a few of the water stories from this blog:
The Right to Water
There's No Water
Salvadorans know, by their history, what happens when private businesses control water. The Salvadoran public is well-practiced in protesting, marching, demonstrating and petitioning political leaders in attempts to clean and protect El Salvador's water. Churches take this work seriously. Bishops, clergy and congregants are at the forefront of organizing these events and in speaking with the media.
Will the long-ringing voice of the people and cries of future generations be heard over the enticing siren of financial profits for those in power?
How will El Salvador's experience inform the peoples of other nations, of those of us with sister church relationships in El Salvador, as we fight to protect water resources in our own communities?
As international partners - as citizens of the world we need to pay attention, to accompany, to walk in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are working to clean and protect El Salvador's water, so that what grows in the petri dish will work in favor of health and life.
|Water does not have an owner. If water is for everyone, the struggle is everyone's.|
|Thousands of protesters gather on June 16, 2018 for a march|
against privatization of water.
|University students - note the image of the water bottle lined with cash|