The crisis in Hammanskraal seems all too familiar

 

The town of Hammanskraal in Gauteng, South Africa is facing a dire situation. You guessed it! They’re amidst a water crisis. With droughts plaguing the area, their main source of water is delivered by tankers only once a week. Some residents have gone without water for weeks at a time, so they’re forced to buy it from people who own boreholes. Paying for water may not sound like a big deal, but for the elderly and unemployed, it often forces them to choose between water or their next meal.

You’re probably asking yourself “Why is Julio rambling about a small town problem in a far away country? Nothing like that will happen where I live.” If you’re thinking along those lines, you’re dwelling in a damn fool’s paradise. Let’s not forget that Flint, Michigan has had a contaminated water issue since 2014.  And maybe you’re not aware that Slovenia is only one of a few countries that declared water a natural right and not a public good.

Don’t get me wrong. I used to be like you. I took my nightly hot showers for granted. You think it’s always going to be there until one day you’re burying cans in the ground and collecting rain water in cups. It seemed like it happened overnight. I lived a somewhat stable life. I was able to get by until the water barons took our H2O and privatized it. They purchased the rights to all bodies of water and made it unobtainable to anyone who wasn’t filthy rich.

When your government is more concerned with collecting money to build walls than making sure citizens have safe drinking water, you’ve got a big problem. If there’s a water shortage in your city and no one’s coming up with a plan of action, you need to be worried because it’s a sure sign that your natural resources are being seen as exploitable goods and your rights as a human being no longer matter. Remember, I’m the future and you’re in grave danger of ending up like me.

 

Julio Garza

 

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