The pandemic and the climate crisis have shown us that we do not react to warnings until we are faced with the evidence. We face a new age of uncertainty that forces us to adapt to the constant changes that will arise. Now, the existing warning is that risks will be collective and unavoidably shared. Science and solidarity are our key assets to move forward.
In all activities carried out during this hard year, we have been faced with human suffering, but we have also found hope. Hope generated by the knowledge of being understood and helped; the one generated by the enthusiasm and generosity of the institutions we collaborate with. These have redoubled their efforts despite all difficulties and deserve our admiration and gratitude. We will continue to be there, collaborating to overcome them, because we share the conviction that solidarity is a never ending asset.
The Foundation’s projects have provided water, sanitation and hygiene to more than 205,000 students and teachers in the most neglected regions of the world. The experience obtained in nine of the most disadvantaged countries corroborates the importance of schools as drivers of the development of hygiene and social justice. Now more than ever due to the pandemic, drinking water and adequate facilities are the base of the success of any educational goal. Mankind needs clean and healthy schools. Without them, no other SDG will be fully attained.
Peru is one of the countries with the greatest water contrasts. The sustainable development of its enormous farming potential depends on the adequate management of water and the territory. To achieve this, the country has the richness of the ancestral tradition that most cared for water as the main link to the land: the Incan culture. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of recovering this farming model based on the understanding of the laws of nature and their compliance.
Plastic is inherent in the lifestyle of most of the population and it is causing a disastrous environmental damage in which the duality garbage-water is at the same time cause and effect. The industry that has most changed our lifestyle is at a crossroads in which the future of the sustainability of the economy and the environment of the planet is decided.
The projects of the Foundation in India have helped to save and improve the crops of more than 90,000 farmers in the areas affected by droughts and the uncertainty of monsoons. They are the ones who are most affected by the climate crisis, social neglect and the yoke of monoculture. They have been provided with water, but most of all what they have received is the capacity for self-management and efficiency, the base to face a sustainable and fair future. This experience must be universal.
Toilets define a dual scope of responsibility: we must bring them to everyone and we must use them correctly. Having one is a demand for health, dignity and hope for economic development for more than 4.2 billion people. Those who already have one are obliged to a responsible use, essential for the proper functioning of the water cycle and a key factor for the adaptation to climate change.
Architecture and the building and tourism industries are key elements for the attainment of the SDGs. They must be a fundamental part of the model that will lead us to attain them and their international influence in the generation of social awareness is decisive. The “Smart Water Smart Reaction” debate showed there are plenty of ideas and initiatives in Mexico, Peru and Spain. The pandemic has strengthened the connecting thread of water as source of inspiration to overcome the global challenge we face and to appreciate the opportunities that appear before us.
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