Water and Covid-19


Water and Covid-19

The Covid-19 crisis that is now affecting the entire planet has surprised us all and left us totally helpless in the face of an unusual and unprecedented situation. And we are all affected; no one is spared! We are living this reality from day to day without knowing what tomorrow will bring. All countries are affected in one way or another, and are fighting against the Coronavirus as best they can. But it is a challenge that we all have to face, that we all have to deal with in the particular situations we find ourselves in!

And many of us are faced with this question: we have to fight against this virus, but what can we do when there is a lack of water and we know that it is first and foremost through hygiene (especially hand hygiene) that we have to face this pandemic? Water supply is a recurring problem that we usually face on a daily basis. But today it is becoming crucial! How can we enable everyone to have access to quality water and basic sanitation? What can we put in place locally? With what means?

Today, the Pope asks everyone “not to waste time, and to get down to work immediately”[1]. There is absolute urgency! And this is what Cardinal Turkson said in his interview, which concerns us all: “The Holy Father has entrusted us with two main tasks. The first is today: the need to offer quickly, with great care and urgency, the concrete sign of the support of the Holy Father and the Church. We must offer our contribution at this critical time. It is a matter of setting up actions in support of the local Churches to save lives, to help the poorest. The second concerns the time after the crisis, in the future, when there are bound to be changes. The Pope is convinced that we are in a period of change, and he reflects on what will happen after the emergency, on the economic and social consequences of the pandemic, on what we will have to face, and above all on how the Church can offer itself as a sure point of reference for the world lost in the face of an unexpected event. Contributing to the elaboration of a reflection on this topic is our second task. The Pope has asked us for concreteness and creativity, a scientific and imaginative approach, universal thinking and the ability to understand local needs. »[2]

Today is the right time to implement one of the essential points of our Spiritan Development Charter in No. 4: “Providing access to safe water and sanitation”. We are already working a lot in this field but our action can be multiplied thanks to the help that the Universal Church can offer us through the Congregation for the Service of Integral Human Development which “has set up mechanisms for listening to the local Churches to identify real needs and help in the elaboration of effective and adequate responses. Nuncios and Episcopal Conferences have been asked to point out health and humanitarian problems that require immediate action. “[3]

This Covid-19 pandemic is a call for all of us to renew our commitment to the poorest in fidelity to our founders. In solidarity with the whole Church, we can ensure that the populations to whom we have been sent can cope with this epidemic by putting in place the necessary means.

I therefore call you all to take action through your development offices and the confreres in charge of the projects! The Central Development Office in Rome is totally at your service to work with you if you feel the need. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information or to study with you the projects you wish to implement.

In this Easter period as we are awaiting the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, let us invoke Him to be at our side in this difficult time and to help us implement the actions needed to alleviate the world’s misery.

I reiterate to you all my fraternal friendship.

Philippe ENGEL Director

]   Interview with Cardinal Turkson 15 April 2020 [2]   Idem [3]   Idem

Borehole in Kataco (Guinée)
Water source of health

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