You are here: Home / What we do / News and Events / Water as a universal right seen from a holistic view

Water as a universal right seen from a holistic view

Water as a universal right seen from a holistic view

Dr Rommel Linatoc carries an earthen pot and an indigenous music instrument used in prayers to symbolize spirituality of water. © Helen Putsman/WCC

05 March 2015



Rommel Linatoc celebrates water in his poetic words:

“Water is a gift from God, a source of life.
“The amount of water in and on the earth is a symbol of abundance.
“Water is life and it is a basic human right.
“When water is denied, life is petrified.”

All human acts should be coherent and inclusive, he asserts. Ecumenical Water Network advocacy and projects on water should be instrumental in advancing interfaith understandings and wider ecumenical undertakings.

Linatoc believes waters should distributed by addressing the societal issues of our times.

“The scarcity of safe water and unavailability of water to the majority of the people are the result of corporate greed, social evils, and unequal distribution of resources,” he says. “It is worsened further by the anti-people policies implemented by the government as imposed by monstrous structural adjustment programmes.”

Linatoc notes a 2010 UN Human Rights Council resolution affirming, “that the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living…as well as the right to life and human dignity.”

The situation is similar when Christians use Bible passages favourable for causes and ministries in promoting abundance of life for all.

Therefore, humanity needs to see water issues in a holistic manner.

In many cases, this is encapsulated in the pastoral prayer or the litany of prayers, he says.

But in our liturgies we mostly focus on the romanticized concepts of spirituality of water.

“This is like attending a worship service for 90 minutes and forgetting the reality of the world. While the other 166.5 hours of our lives each week is devoted to being a part of what the highly commoditized and commercialized world wants,” says Linatoc.

Read also: Pilgrimage of Water Justice: A Liturgical Celebration. This reflection by Dr Rommel Linatoc has been published on the EWN website as part of the Seven Weeks for Water 2015.

A group of 17 people, most of them theologians, but also lawyers and an engineer met at the Ecumenical Institute, Bossey, Switzerland, in a theological consultation on water justice from 8-11 December 2014 to develop a theological framework for water justice. Some of the group told Peter Kenny about the issue of water in the context of their regions, nations and local areas. So did some of the students currently studying at Bossey. The interviews will be published in the EWN website over the coming weeks.