Mohamed Al-Shawish, a 5-year old Palestinian boy, waters trees on a farm in Johor Al-Deek, a section of the Bureij refugee camp in Gaza. Almost two-thirds of Gaza's water is used for agriculture, but farmers are often forced to use salty and polluted water from shallow unlicensed wells. © ACT/Paul Jeffrey
During the seven weeks of Lent the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) focuses on the theme “economy of water” in its Seven Weeks for Water campaign, inspiring churches to pray, reflect and act together for local and global water justice.
The Seven Weeks for Water will begin on 20 February and will be approaching World Water Day and Maundy Thursday with special resources produced for this event. In a time of economic and environmental crisis, the theme of the campaign stresses the urgency for Christians to engage in reflection and action on the “economy of water”.EWN coordinator Maike Gorsboth says, “Water is the lifeblood of the planet as well as the economy. It is crucial for sustainable development in regard to health, food security, energy and poverty – issues that affect and engage churches around the world in different ways.”
For the seven weeks, beginning in mid-February this year, the EWN publishes weekly meditations on its website to raise awareness of water and justice. The reflections are accompanied by campaigning links and ideas for activities encouraging individuals and congregations to work towards water justice in their communities.
Reflections every week offer biblical responses to several issues including the economy of water, wasteful consumption and production, agro-ecological production and climate change adaptation.
Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser, former WCC general secretary, offers a biblical reflection on the concept of thirst for life and thirst for water, integral to human survival, as well as the greed driving manipulation of this precious resource in our world today.
“To be thirsty for water is part of the human condition. It is the bodily expression of the longing for the fullness of life, but it can also turn into a greedy effort to maximize satisfaction,” says Raiser.
The campaign is also paying special attention to the emerging and controversial “Green Economy” concept. The Green Economy aims at reconciling economic development with environmental and social well-being. It is one of the key topics for debate in the run-up to the United Nations’ “Rio+20” Conference on Sustainable Development.
EWN is an international network coordinated by the World Council of Churches, which strives to promote the preservation, responsible management and equitable distribution of water for all, based on the understanding that water is a gift of God and a fundamental human right.
More information on the Seven Weeks for Water: www.oikoumene.org/7-weeks-for-water
More information on the Ecumenical Water Network: http://water.oikoumene.org
World Water Day tool kit