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.
Covid-19 deepens the drama of Venezuelan migrants in northern Brazil. The flow of those who leave their homes fleeing from poverty does not end and the pandemic has worsened the hardness and uncertainty of their exodus. The We Are Water Foundation has started a new project to provide basic handwashing facilities and hygiene training to those who survive in the worst conditions and to the citizens that take them in.
A new project of the Foundation brings water, sanitation and hygiene to Central American migrants who are crammed into unhealthy shelters in Mexico. They flee from poverty and violence and are trapped by politics and the pandemic.
Smart Water extends its discussion forum to make the most of the opportunities offered by the profound change we are experiencing. Smart Reaction will help create a new model that will allow us to effectively attain sustainable development. Through water, a smart reaction is based on dialogue and cooperation to overcome the survival and justice challenge humanity is facing. The world that designs, creates and builds living spaces must evolve even more towards collective intelligence, which will face all problems and will include all those who experience them.
Addressing awareness of nature and access to water and hygiene in the most forgotten areas of Madagascar is one of the objectives of the Foundation’s new project. The largest island in Africa presents one of the worst hygiene rates in the world, which together with the pandemic creates an alarming health situation. Its extraordinary biodiversity also deteriorates with deforestation and shows a relationship with poverty that must be reversed.
Combining the adaptation and mitigation of climate change through water is proposed as the most effective way to overcome the survival challenge humanity is facing. Water is part of the solution. Cooperation is the key to achieve it.
The fear of coronavirus infection has revealed the social scourge of stigma. Some health professionals and other groups that have been at the frontline with their work have suffered social rejection. This is an attitude that, beyond the pandemic, affects the poorest and most discriminated people, as is often the case in the world of access to water and sanitation. We must end this burden to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. Viruses, like water, know no borders, ethnicities or social classes.
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