Water doesn't come from your tap

11 June 2017

This is the title of the upcoming national meeting in Lima to discuss water issues, organised by a group of NGOs including DHSF, CODEHICA, Ser Ayacucho, Cooperacción, CEPES, and SISAY, among others. The encounter will take place on 5-7 July; in preparation for it, 70 grassroots leaders from Apurímac, Ayacucho, Cuzco and Puno met in Cuzco at the beginning of June.

The background data emphasise that 95% of Peru's population depends on water from the highlands (sierra), half of the socio-environmental conflicts in the country have water at their heart, and in the last 30 years 7 billion cubic metres of water have been lost as a result of glacial melt.

In addition to climate change, the participants in Cuzco highlighted the contamination that results from mining activity and the way water battles fragment communities and weaken social cohesion.

Further regional meetings and activities will take place in Ica, Ayacucho, Huancavelica and other parts of Peru before the national meeting.

The national meeting will face the challenge of persuading an urban population, still in the throes of reconstruction after this year’s disastrous flooding, that it needs to understand water scarcity and the urgency of producing responses. Hence the title of the gathering ‘Water comes not from your tap but from the river basin (cuenca)’ . Yaku, the organising group, has coined the phrase ‘Miremos rio arriba’ or ‘Let's look upstream’.

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