Almost a billion people worldwide have to survive without clean drinking water and millions of people don't have proper sanitary provisions. This causes a lot of health risks. Managing water is a source of conflict in many areas and ill water management is one the biggest problems in providing clean water. From 12 until 17 March, Both ENDS will be attending the sixth World Water Forum (WWF) in Marseille which is held every three years since 1997. The theme this year is 'Time for Solutions'. At the WWF, deputies from local communities, together with NGO's, policy makers and companies will be searching for solutions for worldwide water issues.
Whenever I see pictures of the people in the Dutch province of Groningen whose houses are collapsing because of gas extraction and who, even if they wanted to move somewhere else, would never be able to sell them, I can't help but think of all the people worldwide who have been experiencing the same problems, sometimes for decades. Every time I see the anger and powerlessness of the people of Groningen, the comparison to the many people we have been working with for many years in many parts of the world comes to my mind.
The work of the partners of Both ENDS can be dangerous. The story of Odey Oyama, director of the Rainforest Resource Development Centre in Calabar, Cross River State in Nigeria, gives proof to this. Since a few weeks he is hiding. Just in time he heard – indirectly – that he is wanted, and three weeks ago the police suddenly invaded his house. Odey is afraid to return to his family. It seems that his work has engendered too much resistance. He writes to us: "Absolutely without any warrant whatsoever, men and officers of the police forced their way into my residence on Sunday January 27th, 2013, through one of my bedrooms. Previously I had actually reported to the police that I was in need of protection by reason of some of the things I heard and perceived around. "