We are not aware of what we have until we lack it in a moment of need. The social experiment carried out by the Foundation in a well-off area of India on World Toilet Day started the campaign #CloseOpenDefecation in a country where more than 250 million people defecate in fields, streets and railways. A fake toilet stirred consciences.
Water News and Reports
In India, in addition to adequate and dignified toilets, it is necessary to extend knowledge and hygienic practices among the population, especially in schools and women of menstrual age. This is a goal that requires important socio-cultural and educational advances and is taken on by the We Are Water Foundation in its projects in India. On World Toilet Day these efforts took on special prominence.
In Lake Wular, Kashmir, Billa collects floating garbage to support his family. He is happy because by doing this, he is contributing to cleaning the water. He is the protagonist of Saving the Saviour, the short film by Jalal Jeelani, finalist in the micro-documentary category of the We Art Water Film Festival 4. His life and testimony highlight the importance of saving the largest freshwater reserve in India and also ending the situation of millions of children around the world who, like him, depend on the collection of garbage to survive.
The glaciers on the world’s roof are shrinking and menacing the balance of the rivers that feed nearly a third of the world’s population. The first to be affected are the people who live by the ice. In the long run, we can all be.
The collection of rainwater is vital in the most arid regions of India. The severe drought and the uneven rainfall in these regions bring about a return of the ancestral rainfall collection techniques. Thanks to their regenerating effect on aquifers, they have become a key element in the fight against desertification and in the empowerment of the poorest farmers. The rains in September and October have proved that the small reservoirs and tanks such as the ones in Gajikunta and Girigetla are the basis of the life of all farmers in their surroundings.
The overexploitation of aquifers puts in check the agricultural development of the soon to be most populated country on Earth and menaces millions of farmers who see that the climate uncertainty threatens their future. The return to primitive water storage techniques and the implementation of efficient irrigation systems are feasible solutions for the farmers with less resources and a roadmap for other semiarid zones of the planet.
A water drop lost in the irrigation process is a treasure lost in the soil. The farmers with an increasingly menaced future due to drought cannot stand still while the little water they have left evaporates: without it they are bound to extreme poverty. The drip irrigation systems avoid the evaporation of water and the misery of those who lose it. For all of them each drop is the treasure of a lifetime.
One of the greatest challenges India is facing is to provide women with the access to decent and safe latrines and bathrooms. It is essential to end open defecation to move forward towards gender equality. Millions of women in India do not have access to clean water, toilets or personal hygiene. Apart from an important investment in infrastructures, this goal also requires substantial sociocultural and educational advances.
Sign up to receive news about the water crisis and We Are Water projects.