Stirring the Waters

Women in Church and Society (WICAS) Asian Regional Consultation
17-22 April 2006 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Keeping track of our discussions and meetings, and keeping others in the LWF Youth Consultation up-to-date.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Presentation: Ethical concerns and implications on Water: some Perspectives

Afternoon presentation by Rev. Dr Chandran Paul Martin
Executive Secretary, United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India (UELCI)
presented by Ms Vidhya Rani

I never knew that parts of rivers could be or were being privatized, but according to Dr Martin it has happened! His paper primarily discussed the privatization of water in India by large corporations, and the implications of privatization on poverty not only in India but also globally. He presented some troubling statistics about water, including:
  • about 1.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water
  • about 2.4 billion people lack access to sanitation (mostly in Africa and Asia)
  • more than 90 per cent of the people in west Asia live under severe water stress
  • by 2020, water use is expected to increase globally by 40 per cent.

He named multinational companies that use massive amounts of water, often to the detriment of local producers and small industries. The Coca-Cola company, for example, uses an average of 350,000-650,000 litres of water per day. Together with other large manufacturing plants, the Coca-Cola plant in Palakkad, India, is sucking the region dry; thousands of acres of prime agricultural land are turning into desert and villagers are facing an acute drinking-water shortage.

His paper encouraged churches to consider the ethical issues of privatization and to speak up about privatization of water resources, since access to clean and fresh water is the right of every person, not only those who can afford to pay for it.

To read the presentation, please click here.


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