The Social Justice Challenge issue for the month of February is water. Here are my answers to the questions for this month:
- What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you think of water as a social justice issue? Obviously, water is a necessity of life and a huge issue throughout the world. It seems we're either hearing that areas of the world have too much (flooding and landslides) or too little (drought). Control of waterways can certainly be a way to have power over a population or a neighboring country. In some communities, getting the daily water seems to be a day-long task, usually filled by women. Water is a social justice issue because we all need it so badly.
- What, if any, exposure have you personally had to a water shortage? I live in Santa Barbara, California where we often don't get enough rain. Years ago SB received less rain that the Sahara Dessert over a number of years! That's when we all kicked into gear: "if it's yellow stay mellow, if it's brown flush it down", people painted their lawns green (not my family), we turn water off when brushing our teeth and while shampooing our hair. Water was a daily topic of conversation! I know that we didn't exactly have it rough compared to much of the world where women walk miles to get water in buckets they carry on their heads, but it definitely affected our daily lives.
- What potential action steps can you think of that relate to this months theme of water? I still follow the rules that we implemented during our drought. I am constantly aware of water usage/waste. I'm not sure what else I can do. I'll stay tuned to the ideas of others during this week's writings on water. Oh, I just finished reading a book where water (clean water in particular) was an issue: Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali. They have a donation opportunity, which I will probably partake in. This book is my reading for the month's issue.