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  • Aldert Brink

A Thirsty Child

Any right minded parent will ensure that his or her children are well nourished. Parents will do anything to feed their children and will rather do themselves short, than see their children stay hungry. The same goes for a thirsty child. Who of us will stand with a glass of water in their hand and tell our thirsty child to go away?

In my opinion, we tend to do just this in a greater or lesser way. Think about the following few questions with me for a moment and then decide if you agree:

  • Did you take water for granted today?

  • When you opened the tap today, did the thought cross your mind that water is a limited resource?

  • Do you sometimes wonder, even reflect on, or know where the water running from your tap into your drain ends up?

  • Do you realise that one rainstorm following a drought does not terminate it and that after this rainstorm the drought may still prevail? In fact, the effect of a drought can take more than one normal rain season to come to an end.

  • Did you inform (or remind) your children why and how to save water, today? I think most parents will agree that this is a daily, sometimes frustrating, parental task - ‘close the tap’ and ‘switch of the light when you leave your room’.

  • What is our intention to save water and electricity? Is it to save on the monthly municipal bill, or a responsibility in the bigger scheme of things?

  • Do I think of water as a human right or a precious privilege?

Imagine a world without food and water for our children. It is in the human nature not to contemplate a world without water as long as the taps are running. The problem is that we do not understand the magnitude of a problem that already exists. Our taps have already ran dry and we are actually tapping into our children’s water. We urgently need a general water mind shift. Saving water only to save you money is not saving water at all. We need to think about water, not as consumers, but as human beings living on this planet with other human beings and other living creatures. When all potable water are finished, so are the living creatures (including us humans), depending on it.

At this stage we are using our children’s drinking water. Not thinking about our water-responsibility, is refusing a glass of water to a thirsty child. Worse even, it is taking a glass of water from a thirsty child.

As a wise man once said: "When the rivers dry up, and all the trees cut down... only then will man realise that he




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