By Ines Prisca Bikindou, SNDdeN “I work at St. Julie Billiart Hospital in Ngidinga, Democratic Republic of Congo, as an accountant and cashier. It is my first experience in this town where the population is predominantly poor, so that to pay for hospitalization is really hard. The political situation is sad, the majority of the population poor, the wages they receive cannot reach the end of the month, and to the east of the country there is always war, so we live in total insecurity. But God who is good always protects us. Despite the situation of life, God gives us the courage to move forward and we do not lose confidence that what we create is stronger.”
A recent report by the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo indicates that legislation passed on the national level in various countries, including the United States, is helping to curb illegal activities in eastern Congo. Individuals are making a difference too. The Enough Project shares that “actor and activist Jeffrey Wright’s mining company, Taia Lion Resources, is helping take the conflict out of conflict minerals. His company’s approach in Sierra Leone has parallels for eastern Congo, where the fight to control the lucrative minerals trade is fueling the world’s deadliest war.”
Watch Jeffrey Wright’s compelling 3-minute video > http://bit.ly/PCOfeB (in English)
Jeffrey Wright: Creating Conflict-Free Companies for the 21st Century (huffingtonpost.com)
Reflections from 150 persons around the world
On the occasion of World Water Day in March, an NGO briefing entitled “H2 Uh-O: The Rights and Wrongs of Water in Rio+20” focused on issues around fairness and sustainability with regard to water. During preliminary negotiations on the Rio+20 draft some countries are asking to replace the words “right to water” with “right to access to water”. But simple access to water is not enough – water must also be affordable, and people have a right to access and affordability. Some countries like Colombia have even spelled out the human right to water in their constitutions.
Nations which cooperate in regards to waters they share, as Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal do with their shared Senegal River, are models for others. Many NGOs are concerned that privatization of water may block distributive justice since the market tends to focus on economic profit rather than environmental protection and equitable use of resources. “If the wars of the twentieth century were fought over oil, the wars of this century will be fought over water.” Ismail Serageldin, former vice-president of the World Bank
Anyone who solves the problem of water deserves not one Nobel Prize but two –
one for science and the other for peace.
John F. Kennedy
Wonderful news — the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to three women peacekeepers from Liberia and Yemen. Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/07/us-nobel-peace-idUSTRE7963KM20111007