Thursday, August 21, 2008
The imminent water crisis may be eclipsed through the much sensationalized rice and fuel price hike, but by the time it becomes taken seriously, it may already be too late. It is disturbing that while the industrialized nations are exploiting their available alternatives to accessing water, their poorer counterparts experience the lack of opportunities to social development which shall pave the way to their own water access. The water plight in impoverished African and Asian nations may be worse, but that in the Philippines is no simple matter itself. The ancient pipelines in which water passes through to deliver service throughout the city are rusting and replete with contaminants and the very water is unfit to drink. If we were any luckier like the First World citizens like the Europeans and the Americans, we can afford to buy mineral water but the poverty condition of the Filipinos makes the issue of regular purchasing of water out of the question. As a result, not even the basic necessity of man is made available or provided for by the very officials who were elected and sworn into improving our lives.
It will appear too simplistic to find a scapegoat for it all in the form of the government, but I think that the actual ends of global conferences on such fundamental needs as water should be a joint project of both the industrialized and the developing nations. The First World should not just enjoy the privilege of providing the best opportunities to their own citizens but should have the conscience not to exploit their technology and economic means in sharing these to the less privileged Third World. Since all humans deserve not to be denied of their basic rights to access to fundamental necessities, the industrialized nations should see the water crisis not as a capitalistic opportunity presenting itself but as a challenge that begs for their social responsiveness toward their fellow global citizens.