. . . posts on faith and life
A common forecast of analysts from various fields and industries is that the current global fresh water shortage will grow more severe in the next two decades. This will cause water to become in the early 21st century what oil was in the late 20th century. Because of this financial advisers have been recommending for individual investors to add fresh water companies to investment portfolios for a few years now (for example). Can anyone say “Blue Gold”?
However, the problem is much more serious than trying to find the next big investment. Our reality today is that people are losing their lives over water, and we’re not just talking about sanitation and disease. “Water Wars” are breaking out in regions around the world. The U.N. is warning that water will increasingly drive conflicts–specifically, that water will be the number one cause of war and conflict in Africa during the next 25 years. The crisis in Darfur would seem to confirm that what had once been unimaginable, widespread killing over water, will likely continue for the next few decades.
The church has an unbelievable opportunity to minister to this crisis. Some organizations and churches have already begun to respond. But many, many more will need to step forward in order to end the problem. One Christian organization, ZAO Water, has begun to bottle and sell water, with the proceeds going to building new water wells and repairing broken ones in Africa. They have found that many old wells needed only a $5 part to be replaced in order to be fully functioning again. So, they have made it a mission to not only dig new wells, but to put old wells dug by others on a regular maintenance program, as well as train locals to dig new wells and maintain old ones.
Hopefully many more churches will get involved in this crisis. The need is certainly dire. Today more than 4,500 children died from lack of water, and this happens every single day.