Water Aid America staged a two-mile "water walk" through the streets of New York City
Adapted by S. Eileen Denny
from an article by Celine Paramundayil,
international representative for the Medical Mission Sisters'
nongovernmental organization at the United Nations.
Photos from original source.
One child under five dies every two minutes from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and bad hygiene — yet based on current progress, the world will fail to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 — To bring safe water and toilets to everyone, everywhere by 2030. Goal 6 of the 2030 agenda is dedicated to action to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Recently, Water Aid America staged a “water walk” to highlight the importance of water and bring it to the attention of the policy makers at the U.N. The walk started at 72nd Street and Lexington Avenue in Central Park and ended at the United Nations building, at 45th Street and First Avenue. The distance chosen for the walk was two miles — a little less than the distance the average woman or girl in many developing countries walks daily to get water for her family.
We were given empty buckets to carry during the silent, reflective walk. Though the bucket was empty, it became rather heavy as we walked, and I even thought of giving up on the way, but the cause kept us going. By the time we reached the front gate of the United Nations, we were almost exhausted. Imagine our sisters in the developing world walking with the buckets full of water, every day, in many rural areas of the world!
n example of the things we advocate against is the "privatization" of water. When cities or corporations take over water supplies in order to sell water or to use it in manufacturing, people may not be able to afford water.
While the U.N. was formulating the Sustainable Development Goals, they were talking in terms of insuring that people had "access to water." Civil society groups advocated for the U.N. to say "the right to water" instead. The difference comes down to this: you may have "access" to water, but no money to purchase it. If water is considered a human right, it — like air — should be considered a "global commons" available to be used by all.
Women and girls bring water just as they nurture life. They need to be supported so that they have adequate time for other things too — like getting an education! It is the responsibility of the governments to provide necessities like water and sanitation to their citizens. We wanted to remind our policy makers that the civil society representatives at the U.N. will not rest until safe drinking water becomes a reality for all.
Click here for an article on the history of Thanksgiving, which describes how “a long time ago, refugees fleeing their home country’s hostile political environment headed west over the Atlantic ocean in search of a better life. They arrived on a rock, unprepared for the challenges that come with moving to a new land: a shortage of food and inadequate shelter. A group of Americans took pity on these refugees, sharing their soil and helping them gain a foothold on it. In an act of goodwill and diplomacy the immigrants hosted the Americans for a large shared feast. The Americans were called the Wampanoag; the immigrants the Pilgrims.” Remember to pray for the immigrants seeking refuge on North American shores today, and raise your voter voice to demand dignified and just treatment for migrant people – Readers in the U.S., please click here ; those in Canada, please click here .
On Black Friday, as the holiday season begins in full force, please remember to use your purchasing power to encourage companies to eliminate slavery from their supply chains! “Purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act!” – Pope Benedict XVI
This holiday season, please encourage family and friends who might be looking for a charitable cause to consider donating to our efforts in Haiti! Click here to learn more about our efforts – you can access the donation page by scrolling to the bottom of the webpage. Click here for a wonderful video overview of the programs we are partnering with Beyond Borders to implement in Haiti, which was developed by Beyond Borders to encourage sponsorship of families in the program.