2009 is coming to its end and it’s time to wish everyone a joyful holiday season and all the best for 2010. At the same time, we also want to with you some thoughts about an actual issue:
As many of you have witnessed over the past few days, the climate conference in Copenhagen did not bring about the step ahead which many people were hoping for. This means that more time will be lost for mankind to find better ways of living in dignity without damaging the fundaments of future wellbeing. Nevertheless, at the SODIS Foundation we think that it’s not too late to contribute with our own first steps. Surprisingly, climate change is closely connected to the issues of drinking water (and thus survival) of people in Bolivia (and elsewhere).
As a highly recommendable article in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/science/earth/14bolivia.html) points out, glaciers are a low-maintenance form to store fresh water. Conveniently, they retain the water in the rainy season and slowly release it during the dry period. For countries like Bolivia, this is a blessing, thus facilitating agriculture, power generation and development in the valleys and lowlands. However, the glaciers are disappearing quickly: what was known as the “world’s highest ski resort” on Mount Chacaltaya just a few years ago today is a rocky landscape, unable to retain the snow falling on it. Worse, the snow now quickly turns into water, leading to devastating flash floods downstream, a scenario Bolivia is witnessing with increasing frequency. Cities like El Alto are already facing critical water shortages, threatening livelihoods of millions of people.
That is why it is important to do something about climate change, and something about the millions of people who do not have access to safe drinking water. Our project “Safe drinking water for 80,000 children in Bolivia” is just a humble attempt to take a first step. We would like to thank all our supporters for taking this step with us in 2009, and we will keep you informed about the continuing advances and developments. Without your support, this project would not be where it is today.
Thank you again. We wish you happy holidays and all the best for 2010!
Best regards from the SODIS Foundation,