Saturday, May 10, 2008

Victims Of Cyclone Nargis In Myanmar Need Food And Water

UN Says 1.5 Million People "Severely Effected" By Cyclone Nargis In Myanmar/Burma
May 9, 2008
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations estimated 1.5 million people have been "severely affected" by the cyclone that swept through Myanmar, with the United States expressing outrage on Thursday at delays in allowing in aid.

In Myanmar, desperate survivors cried out for food, water and other supplies nearly a week after 100,000 people were feared killed by Cyclone Nargis as it swept across the farms and villages of the low-lying Irrawaddy delta region.

"We're outraged by the slowness of the response of the government of Burma (Myanmar) to welcome and accept assistance," US Ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, told reporters. "It's clear that the government's ability to deal with the situation, which is catastrophic, is limited."

The UN food agency and Red Cross/Red Crescent said they had finally started flying in emergency relief supplies after foot-dragging by Myanmar's ruling military junta. The United States was waiting for approval to start military flights.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that Washington was "fully prepared to help and to help right away, and it would be a tragedy if these assets" were not used. The Navy said four ships, including the destroyer USS Mustin and the three-vessel Essex Expeditionary Strike Force, were heading for Myanmar from the Gulf of Thailand after the Essex deployed helicopters to Thailand for aid operations.

Witnesses have seen little evidence of a relief effort in the delta that was swamped in Saturday's storm. It was the worst cyclone in Asia since 1991, when 143,000 people were killed in neighboring Bangladesh. "We'll starve to death if nothing is sent to us," said Zaw Win, a 32-year-old fisherman who waded through floating corpses to find a boat for the two-hour journey to Bogalay, a town where the government said 10,000 people were killed.

end of excerpt.

What the junta in Myanmar is doing to their own people is a crime against humanity. To leave the vicitms of a natural disaster without food and water is a crime . They are just as responsible for the deaths of these people now as the cyclone was, and need to be condemned for their actions by the international community.

U.S.Campaign For Burma

Here is one website with up to date news on this devastating tragedy and ways you can donate to those in need. If I find any sites in regards to water I will also post them here.

And speaking of water, this is a website that describes the Myanmar ritual of 'Thingyan' which is the dousing of people with water before their new year as a ritual of washing away the old. They would have celebrated this festival not too long before this cyclone hit them... and now they need water desperately.

Thingyan In Myanmar

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Our Water Future

Since I began posting to this blog almost two years ago, we have seen much happen in the world of water. We have seen the steady decline of water safety and democracy worldwide with glacier melt threatening the water supplies of millions becoming more prevalent. Drought is an affliction that has now enveloped close to 40% of our planet. We have seen the effects of ethanol production as it now is revealed to be nothing more than a corporate/political scam set upon us to deplete our food and water sources which has caused riots in many developed areas of the world. Corporatization of our public trust is increasing, with political power looking to gain control over world water resources as they did oil. The outlook after seeing all of this may seem bleak.

However, we have seen some positive things come about as well. More people than ever are becoming aware of the global water crisis and water justice movement. More are standing up to the bottled water interests and demanding not only accountability but boycotting the bottle and they are feeling the pinch. The effects of citizen activism are being felt worldwide as information and truth seeps its way across the Internet to the hearts and minds of people who are now more awakened and empowered to take action to preserve this planet and our precious resources.

And that must continue, for the task before us is monumental. For times are bleak across much of the world particularly in Africa and Asia where water resources becomes scarcer due to corruption, mismanagement, climate change, and pollution, and where the ability to speak out against it is but a dream. Therefore, caring about water and its future is a global duty.

It is incumbant upon all of us as citizens of the world to ask questions, research, demand accountability, and work for water justice. That includes clean, safe, healthy sources that seek to bring not only health but peace to areas of the world where running water is the greatest gift they could have to sustain their bodies, their minds and their souls, which is true freedom.

So while I look out on the landscape of the planet and see an encroaching crisis, I also see an unprecedented opportunity for the human race to find within itself the will and courage to save itself. And the continued flow of information, truth, and opportunity will surely aid in that goal.

We must not relent in seeing an international convention on water declaring it a human right and setting the standards for addressing this right and fulfilling the goals and obligations that will lead to true water justice.

As Maude Barlow states here, "the right to water is an idea whose time has come."

That time is now.

Another World Water Day Gone

We see another World Water Day pass us by. The theme, Water For All, signifies that though some progress has been made we are woefully behin...