Eradicating the scourge of open defecation is an essential condition for the progress of any community. A simple toilet and a tap from which water flows are the starting point for dignity and development; the satisfaction of possessing them is the best guarantee of a future based on a hygiene culture. Our experience in the Indian village of P. Thimmapuram proves it.
Two new projects in India further train women to understand the water cycle, manage water resources and maintain water supply facilities. Freed from having to fetch water, women provide crucial support that multiplies the benefits for the community and increases its resilience to climate impacts.
With more than 1.425 billion inhabitants, India is already the world's most populous nation. However, the country faces a promising future with enormous challenges. Achieving efficient agriculture that is resilient to the climate crisis is paramount. This goal will be completed by training rural communities to manage every drop of water, diversifying crops, and empowering farmers. Monsoon water harvesting and improved irrigation efficiency are two crucial strategies.
India is the world’s largest groundwater extractor. The country is home to 16% of the world’s population but has only 4% of the planet’s freshwater resources. Many of its aquifers are overexploited. The solutions lie in promoting efficiency in local water management. This will only be possible if communities are involved in solutions and if they acquire knowledge and governance rights. A role model for dryland agriculture.
The degradation of the Mithi River has become an icon of water pollution, a definite and poignant image of the worst end for waste caused by human activity, especially that of the poorest neighborhoods. The micro documentary Plastic River, finalist of the We Are Water Film Festival 5, covers the best images of this indecency. Finding out the reasons for this disaster is as important as learning from the efforts made to solve it.
India is experiencing the worst wave of infections and deaths the world has seen since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The healthcare chaos overlaps poor medical coverage and the endemic problems of lack of access to water and sanitation in the marginal slums and in the neglected rural world. The solution of the pandemic in India is key for the entire world.
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 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.
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