The author, South Africa and Nobel Prize for Literature, participated in the Third World Water Forum , held in Japan on March 16 last. These are his conclusions on a scarce natural resource , whose possession can produce as many clashes as oil
JOHANNESBURG , South Africa .- If we spin a globe , our world seems full of an infinite amount of water. A paradox, then, isthe crisis agenda of the third World Water Forum , held between 16 and 23 March this year in Kyoto , Japan, and devoted to the future of our planet as an increased thirst. Although 70 % of the Earth's surface is covered by water , 97.5 % of that water is salty. 2.5% remaining fresh water which human society depends , almost three quarters are frozen.
Not surprisingly, water resources are asource of conflict between communities and territories. But necessity requires the water to be shared to ensure the survival of all. By force becomes a catalyst for international cooperation: the water is also an agent of peace.
Kandahar , Afghanistan : children who carry jerry cans with water - Photo: E. Hoshiko / AP |
We lavish in the use of the precious liquor of life. In thetwentieth century , water consumption increased by twice the percentage of global population growth . The fickleness of the seasons , pollution, excessive deforestation , draining of wetlands ... all contributed to this colossal waste.
While the extravagance and waste have been and remain the lifestyle of some countries, more than one billion people lack access to sustainable supplies of clean water.And at least two million and a half people , mostly in developing countries , die each year from diseases caused by unclean water they are forced to drink. around 6000 children die per day , I stop the write - awed by the same cause.
Access to safe drinking water affects less obvious aspects of poverty. While the campaigns provide drugs to prolong the life of those affected by AIDS in Africa ,the success of treatment depends on the physical resistance stimulated by decent living conditions ... and these conditions beginning with drinking water. The mandate outlined in the Water is life has many shades . Supply water to a community is only half the solution. The absence of effective health measures means that the water supply may become contaminated with fecal leakage . The thirst isquenched, but the diseases enter through the mouth. Thus, effective health measures is the second part of the process that is now recognized as essential to satisfy human needs. At present there are bombastic terms that link water supply with other aspects , which constitute the general concept of maintaining a comfortable environment, now and for the future: sustainable development , biodiversity ,resource allocation , inventory rationalization . And also emphasizes good governance , which must implement regional and international policies .
Last year, at the launch of the Afro -European Union Strategy for Water and Sanitation , the presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo, and the presidents of the European Union and the European Commission, Anders FoghRasmussen and Romano Prodi, issued a statement that "the control of water resources must be addressed at all levels " and that "the balance between water needs and the needs of the environment can help to end the loss of environmental resources by 2015. " The document emphasized that this goal depends on " the new long-term strategic partnership between the governments concerned stakeholders ...... civil society and the private sector . " In fact , they refer to everyone who ever opened a faucet or filled a glass of water. The declaration also specifies that the development of water resources should be " gender sensitive . " Although this last statement may seem a nod to feminists granting equality in terms of the experience of thirst , in reality it is a serious recognition of the (...