Progressio lobbies parliament and churches for water justice

By staff writers
November 22, 2011

Water justice activists have been touring London churches and the Houses of Parliament dressed as giant corn-on-the-cobs and armed with their watering cans to demand fair access to water for poor people across the world.

María Yolanda Rojas Ávila, who grows maize in Peru, commented: "To me, water means life. Without water, people, animals and crops cannot live. I hope for a good future for my three children, in a healthy environment. I hope we will have enough water in the future."

A third of the world's population relies on small scale agriculture, either by growing their own food to eat and sell for their livelihoods or by purchasing it. But while there is enough water on the planet to go around, many people cannot gain access to it and are at risk from increasing water scarcity.

Not having enough water for watering crops means that there is less to sell at market. The knock-on effect is that poor people get poorer. Some places are quite simply very dry, but, more often than not, the reason people cannot get access to water is that the water resources available to them are mismanaged or too expensive.

Campaigners from the Catholic agency Progressio are seeking to change that. In the lead up to the Rio+20 'Earth Summit' in June 2012, campaigners are urging Secretary of State Caroline Spelman to ensure that poor people have fair and sustainable access to water for their livelihoods.

Activist Daniel Hale explained: "Water security and food security are two sides of the same coin. There are 700 references to water in the Bible. Christians should be at the forefront in ensuring all people have fair and sustainable access to this live-giving resource."

María Yolanda relies on an affordable and accessible water supply to feed her family. Her message to world leaders is clear: "They should listen to all the poor people in the world and not ignore us, because everybody should have the same opportunity to have a good and decent life."

* Add your voice in support of María Yolanda and billions like her by texting 'WATER' to 87070 (standard rates apply in the UK) or go online at


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