23 March, 2006

Safari Notes: "Filthy Water can not be washed"

A very wise African proverb! Water, the essence of life, 'cannot be washed'. There is water and water! And yet it is said 'more than one billion people have no access to clean water'! And the statistics on water are alarming! And very saddening!

The way fresh water sources are being depleted and polluted, gives very little hope. More so in Africa; same in Yemen. I still remember way back in the sixties and seventies, when I was growing up in East Africa: there were only pristine rivers and lakes. Not a single plastic bottle or bag in the waters, then. No more! Chemicals, garbage and all kinds of pollutants are now being dumped in to the rivers and lakes; just as is happening in other parts of the world. Unlike other parts of the world, where water pollution went hand in hand with economic development - Africa hasn't had much economic improvement.

The fourth World Water Forum has just finished in Mexico. As always, much talk and discussions, but very little will be done after. The lack of consensus on "access to water with quality, quantity and equity, constitutes an fundamental human right" - isn't encouraging at all! I believe, clean, safe drinking water should be a right - not only for all people of the Earth but, for all other living creatures too. That is the only way forward; and that is the only way we can say: humanity has 'progress'.

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