Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Summer to me and probably many people means beach. Everybody finds a way to go to the coastal beaches at least one weekend during the months of heat and sun. But we must be alert and take care of our beaches so that they do not become large garbage dumps in the open.
The vast majority of Cape Verdean beaches, especially my favorite “Quebra Canela” get daily urban sewage, causing pollution and increasing the risk of contracting diseases for the beach goers.
Sewage discharged into the ocean is a public health problem that largely depends on the actions of governments to be solved, but that does not mean we should sit idly. Social mobilization and struggle for the right to enjoy a clean beach is part of all of us.
Besides offering us pleasure during summer, clean water is an important and delicate factor for the survival of our specie. Worldwide 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation, in other words more than two-sixths of all the inhabitants of the planet. Further, 1.8 million people die each day from dehydration, diarrhea and other problems arising from lack of water, of which 90% are children under five years of age. Diseases transmitted by contaminated water kills a child every 15 seconds in the world.
We must realize that water will not end on the planet, and it is not even decreasing in volume, because its cycle is closed and stable. The lack of proper care in the capturing of rainfall and the pollution of rivers, oceans and lakes are responsible for the eventual reduction of the volume of surface fresh water, requiring expensive solutions, such as the search for deep groundwater or desalination of ocean water.
We should try to remember all the cultural, symbolic and socio-economic significance of water the next time we quench our thirst. A glass of water we hold in our hand today contains more than 10 million molecules that were in contact with our ancestors. We need to revitalize the water, because it represents a link with the past and a commitment to the future of next generations.