Water justice focus of consultation in Nigeria
Nov 29, 2016
Representatives from the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network gathered in Nigeria from 27-29 November to discuss water as a basic human right in Africa and beyond.
The regional consultation was focusing on issues relating to both water and sanitation within the context of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as one of them calls for universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. Africa lags behind the furthest in achieving the Millennium Development Goals related to water and sanitation.
WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit extended greetings to those gathered, assuring them that eco-justice remains at the heart of WCC’s pilgrimage of justice and peace.
The WCC has been reiterating the urgent concerns of churches in relation to climate change, underscoring its call for all governments to fulfill the commitments of the Paris Agreement, which commits countries to keeping the global temperature rise to below 2° Celsius.
“The WCC has committed itself to preserving the human right and spiritual tie to land, water and food across the world,” wrote Tveit in his greeting. “Among other issues, we are addressing the commercialization of water at the cost of depriving vulnerable communities of access to water and sanitation.”
The consultation is being hosted by the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Christian Council of Nigeria.
“As we continue together on a pilgrimage of justice and peace, water justice is a vital, life-giving facet of our work,” concluded Tveit.
During 2017, WCC’s Lenten campaign, “Seven Weeks for Water,” will be launched from Africa. Promoted by the Ecumenical Water Network annually since 2008, the campaign provides weekly theological reflections and other resources on water for the seven weeks of Lent and for World Water Day on 22 March.