Universal access to water

In 2008, our congregation took a stand to promote universal access to drinking water, especially for vulnerable populations. We oppose any policy that may affect access.

Following the message of Pope Francis that highlights the interrelations between the human environment and the natural environment and the need to pay “attention to causes that are related to human and social degradation …” (Laudato Si’numéro No. 48, p.4) and to deal properly with the degradation of the environment, we renewed our commitment to concrete solidarity actions at the 34th General Chapter in 2016.

In this series of gestures, we note:

  • Examine our lifestyles and consumption patterns to reduce our negative impact on Earth by 1% per year.
  • Include an ecological component in our educational programs.
  • Know, analyze and commit ourselves to fight against global economic issues that dehumanize and contribute to the destruction of the Earth, our common house.

In addition, we recognize the problem of water in Lesotho, characterized by both drought and contamination, a problem that affects food production and the health of the nation. Commitments to act in solidarity with the Basotho sisters and the people of Lesotho have been made, including the provision of financial assistance to counter the effects of famine in Lesotho.

In solidarity with all the people affected by the lack of drinking water, particularly in Lesotho, Peru, Brazil and with the indigenous communities of several regions, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) commit to

  • Work in partnership with agencies that provide training and equipment to villages lacking clean water.
  • Invest decisively in companies that develop solutions to provide safe drinking water in areas affected by drought or contaminated water.

Water is a human right and a public good (2008)

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and associates declare that

  • Water is a sacred gift connecting all sources of life.
  • Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right.
  • The value of freshwater for the common good takes precedence over any commercial value.
  • Drinking water is a common heritage, a public good of collective responsibility.

Therefore, we support actions and policies which

  • ensure universal access to safe drinking water for all peoples, especially the most vulnerable;
  • protect freshwater as a sustainable and renewable resource;
  • achieve the Millennium Development Goals (UN).

We oppose all actions and policies

  • endangering the global freshwater reserve;
  • removing human and other species from access to clean water that is essential to life;
  • favoring privatization and make water, our common heritage, a commodity to sell for profit.