Seven Weeks for Water
The Ecumenical Water Network invites you to use this season of Lent to reflect on how we can be better stewards of God’s Creation and live out God’s love in how we relate to others. The Seven Weeks for Water in 2017 (1 March - 16 April) will take us on a pilgrimage of water justice in Africa.
According to the Christian tradition, Lent is a time to prepare for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. During this period many people engage in fasting and practise moderation or self-denial in order to focus on repentance and consecrating oneself to God. While water has a strong spiritual significance in the Christian tradition as a gift of God, this scarce resource is threatened and denied to millions around the world.
The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) invites you to use this season of Lent to reflect on water. Since 2008, the EWN has been providing weekly theological reflections and other resources on water for the seven weeks of Lent and for World Water Day on 22 March.
Thirst for Justice
“Access to safe water and, even more, access to improved adequate sanitation is a major challenge in the world. Even after the declaration of water and sanitation as a human rights issue, today around 750 million people do not have access to safe drinking water, while close to 2 billion people have to drink contaminated water, and around 2.4 billion people (1 in every 3) do not have access to adequate and improved sanitation facilities. Access to safe water and improved adequate sanitation are still major challenges in Africa, where millions of people do not have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities. Thousands of children die every day due to consumption of contaminated water and poor sanitation facilities.” - The Lagos Message: A Pilgrimage of Water Justice in Africa
About half of the world’s population without access to safe drinking water and about one third of world’s population without access to adequate sanitation facilities, come from sub-saharan Africa.
The WCC’s Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace will have a regional focus on Africa on 2017. Accordingly, the Seven Weeks for Water in 2017 will take us on a pilgrimage of water justice in Africa. The Biblico-theological reflections and resources for the seven weeks will be based on the water crisis in the Africa region and take into consideration issues of justice and peace.
During Lent 2017, various activities around the Seven Weeks for Water will take place in Africa, starting with a pre-launch in Abuja, Nigeria on 25 February and the launch in Addis Ababa (Ash Wednesday according to the Western traditions of Christianity).
This year the reflections on water and sanitation will focus on inequality, stigma and discrimination related to water, feminisation of water poverty in the context of Africa, among others. You can access all resources on the EWN website.