Friday, June 11, 2010
When Jetmatics Rained
Hundreds and thousands of jetmatic water pumps engraved with surname of the two most powerful political couple rained all over Occidental Mindoro just days before the elections and majority of my province-mates sees nothing wrong with that. Is this in a way connected to something called water politics or hydropolitics coined by John Waterbury is his book “Hydropolitics of the Nile Valley” published in 1979? .
Hydropolitics is politics affected by the availability of water and water resources, a necessity for all life forms and human development. As we all know, fresh water is a fundamental requirement of all living organisms, crops, livestock and humanity included. The access to water is a basic human right and a prerequisite for peace. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated in 2001, “Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and, therefore, a basic human right. Contaminated water jeopardizes both the physical and social health of all people. It is an affront to human dignity.” Now, tell me,- is this the same motivation behind the distribution of those water pumps last elections?
According to the World Health Organization or WHO, each human being requires a bare minimum of 20 litres of fresh water per day for basic hygiene; this equals 7.3 cubic meters (about 255 ft3) per person, per year. Based on the availability, access and development of water supplies, the specific usage figures vary widely from country to country, with developed nations having existing systems to treat water for human consumption, and deliver it to every home. Here in our place, the island villages of Iling and Ambulong in San Jose town are in dire need of potable drinking water that the in-coming municipal administration have promised to address.
When I first saw a jetmatic pump engraved with such a family name, I cannot help but remember these words from St. Bernard of Clairvaux : “Every one must drink from his own well.” Or to paraphrase it, “from our own jetmatics.” So, we do have to rely much on politicians for our individual need for potable water. Speaking of that observation of St. Bernard, the Peruvian theologian and regarded as founder of Theology Of Liberation, Gustavo Gutierrez wrote a book called “We Drink From Our Own Wells”. According to Gutierrez, “Spirituality is like living water that springs up in the very depth of the experience of faith.” We, as true Christians, are the wells and jetmatics that are always connected to our water source which is the Lord. Not the political lords,- mind you, but Yahweh.
You may ask : “So, let's get rid of politics and politicians and make our own well and drink from it?” Not exactly. I am not saying that the development of our province or community depends only in our own hands as ordinary citizens. Or the world’s salvation depends on our efforts where world leaders (political, business, religious, etc.) are excluded. I am not saying that we must change everything all by ourselves. We cannot do alone that gargantuan task. Simply because governance and democracy are always about participation. A work both for the governors and those who are being governed. A poor farmer proudly told me while watching him minding his newly-bought jetmatic water pump : “At least, the money I used came from my pocket. This is a product of my labor…” So, why not drink from our own (not given by somebody else) jetmatic,- err, wells?
Yes, let us drink from our own wells (or jetmatics) because God’s love that is revealed in Jesus sets us FREE,- meaning without any pressure, to work in the service of His kingdom…
(Photo from SSC File)