“Life on our Planet depends on its capability to be able to change state like no other substance, to be able to transmute from ice to liquid water, or steam. It is inside us, it is around us, it is the crucial element of the earth, and it is the primary material of existence, its origin and maximum expression. To put it with Leonardo da Vinci, it is the driving force of nature: water is the best synonym referable to all that is organic, to ourselves (that we are largely made of water) and to what surrounds us”.
On this 26th occasion of World Water Day (WWD), which for over a quarter-century has been celebrated on March 22nd, these words of our Founder embody an even stronger meaning. It is a precious opportunity to educate the inhabitants of our Planet on the use, abuse and fruition of the main source of our survival, the natural capital for which it is our duty and priority interest to safeguard and make accessible.
In this regard, Pope Francis expressed himself with simplicity and concreteness to distinguish his warnings: “The world has a serious social debt towards the poor who do not have access to drinking water, because this means to deny them the right to life rooted in their inalienable dignity.”
This year, the main theme of WWD is “Nature for Water”. This theme intends to direct attention toward possible solutions that can prevent the natural water cycle from being disrupted by man. If left alone, the ecosystem will not result in a fatal situation.
The aid intervention necessary to support people in times of difficulty due to illness, poverty and social marginalization is inseparable from water, a primary and fundamental asset for the quality of life of individuals and communities. Making such a universal commodity available is an element that transversally involves a large part of the projects that ABF is carrying out in Haiti.
According to UNICEF data, in the Caribbean country of Haiti over 9 million people live without access to water. In the capital, Port au Prince, numerous amounts of main water pipes were destroyed by the 2010 earthquake, in addition to the many wells that are currently dry.
An efficiently dedicated project is one called “Water Truck”, through which ABF, six days a week, three times a day, distributes free drinking water by way of two tank trucks in the Cité Soleil slum. Through this project, access to drinking water for more than 400,000 people is guaranteed daily, thus offering the local community tens of millions of liters of water every year. The concrete results, already widely found, are a significant improvement in sanitary conditions, an equally significant limitation of the transmission and spread of infections, as well as a drastic reduction in the risk of death by dehydration in children and elderly people.
The “Water Truck” project has added the realization – in synergy with the school facilities built by ABF and local partner Saint Luc Foundation – of Water Towers and water access points available to students, teachers and when possible, the whole community. Water Towers is currently operating at the school of Notre Dame du Rosaire in Croix-des Bouquets, at St Philomene School in Kenscoff through water collection; both of the solution are provided with a purification system and public use taps. Thanks to your continued support, our goal is to extend free water access to all projects in which the Foundation is involved, especially in the communities of Devarenne, Laserengue and Dame Marie for the benefit of 1,750 students, their families and the inhabitants of the area.
“In the body, as in the world – as Andrea Bocelli emphasizes – water is a solvent by its nature: it dissolves and carries nutrients, just as it moves, nourishes and connects millions of people, since the birth of human civilization. To waste it, to adulterate it, subtract it, means to be enemies of life and trigger a degeneration that might backfire also those who caused it. I think it is appropriate to take action, each according to their own possibilities, so that water can really be a commodity of everyone and for everyone”.