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Water is the First Medicine: a conversation with WaterAid

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

United as a Blue Community, the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph organized an online conversation with WaterAid about clean and safe water as the front line of defence and the foundation for public health.

We were joined by Julie Truelove (Senior Policy Analyst with WaterAid Canada) and other WaterAid partners such Mercy Masoo (Country Director, WaterAid Malawi).

CSJ Blue Community Coordinator Paul Baines opens and moderates the event. Julie Truelove gives an overview of WaterAid programs and Mercy Masoo shares a case study about the conditions and projects in Malawi. We then had an open discussion based on questions from the audience and between the panelists (including Palash Bagchi, Head of Corporate Partnerships). We showed a few short videos celebrating the value of water and the contrasts between clean water access in resourced and under-resourced countries.

The Human Right to Clean Water and Sanitation still leaves too many behind.

1 in 10 don't have clean water close to home.

1 in 4 don't have a decent toilet of their own.

2 in 5 people lack hand washing facilities at home.

We recorded the conversation so that if you missed it you can still learn and engage with the ideas and examples. This post and video are also excellent resources to share across your networks.

In related news from the Global Sisters Report:

Knowing that the Catholic Church operates up to 50% of health care facilities in areas where there might otherwise be no health care, there is a great opportunity for the church to help improve the situation. To this end, the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, under the leadership of Cardinal Peter Turkson, has undertaken an unprecedented and important leadership role to help get water, sanitation and hygiene ("WASH") into facilities run by dioceses and congregations in low-resourced countries. The goal is basic safety: things such as having a source of water for use in treatment and disease reduction, and elementary toilet facilities.

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