It’s raining now, for the first time since I’ve been here–and for the first time this year, they tell me.

I pay so much more attention to water here, in this place where I know farmers whose livelihood depends on the rain coming in good measure at the right time… In a city without storm drains where the lower streets become gushing rivers in the heavy rain, capable of carrying away and cars, buses, and any people caught in the destructive current… Where many of the displaced and impoverished live in makeshift communities without running water, paying dearly for a few gallons of less-than-pure water each day…

Affordable access to clean drinking water is a basic right and necessity, and yet here in Colombia as in so many other places, this essential service has been partially privatized. A popular movement has built here, where two million people signed on in support of the “Water Referendum,” a document affirming water as a basic human right and a resource of the common good. So far the referendum has not faired well with the government, since a congressional committee approved a highly altered version of the text which subverts the primary goals and intentions of the 2 million citizens who had signed. The movement continues, insisting that the government respect the original document. You can follow their progress on their (Spanish language) website: ecofondo.org.


About Sarah

I serve with Presbyterian World Mission as liaison to the Andean region. This blog is a place to share stories, experiences, and observations, both my own and those of friends and colleagues and the occasional item of news.
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