Quito (Agenzia Fides) - The World Water Day was celebrated yesterday, March 22, also in Latin America with several demonstrations in defense of this natural asset. In South America for the indigenous water is a sacred, for some a cultural tradition, for some, even a "living being" in need of care and protection to ensure even the life of man in the future.
For this reason, many South American groups complain that water has become the object of buying, selling or power reasons in certain areas of North America. The proof of this conflict are the different hydroelectric projects and mines that contaminate or waste water, or make so many lakes or rivers dry up eventually.
In Bolivia, the possession of lands in the hands of a few people made sure that the population is unable to have access to water. In Peru, the main social problems within the country regard the defense of water, an example is the conflict of Conga, in Cajamarca (see Fides 30/11/2011). In Colombia, a country with the largest water supply in the world, 80% of the population and economic activities are far from sources of this natural resource or have distribution problems. The Director General of the Institute of Hydrology, Ricardo Lozano, told the local press that the increased supply of water is concentrated in areas with lower population index, and this creates an imbalance in the country. In Ecuador, the group representing the indigenous people came to the capital yesterday, after 14 days' journey on foot, with the March for Water defense, life and dignity of peoples (see Fides 21/03/2012). According to the press, only one percent of landowners control 63% of water for agriculture.
The International Water Day was established on December 22, 1992 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. In July 2010 drinking water was recognized as a human right. Despite this, even in Latin America today, there are many people who suffer from poor nutrition and fall ill due to the lack of water. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 23/3/2012)