Clean water is important for our children. It is the hope for our children. The hope for the future.Lydia Aguinda, Kichwa leader
The indigenous nationalities of Ecuador’s northern Amazon are on the frontlines of the battle for the future of the planet. Over the last 50 years they have seen how an insatiable global demand for resources (fossil fuels, precious metals, timber, food products), as well as demographic and “development” pressures (roads, pastureland, agricultural settlements, urbanization) has threatened their way of life and the ecological health of their rainforest homelands. They have seen—and experienced—how their water has been poisoned, and their forests degraded. And the threats are unrelenting.
So what does the future hold?
We believe that how we act in the present will shape the future. We believe that amidst destruction, we must keep building.
In 2011, we began a pilot water project with the indigenous nationalities of northeastern Ecuador to provide safe, clean access to drinking water for families that had gone decades without. ClearWater launched with a big goal: provide every indigenous family with sustainable access to clean water relief in a region where oil production and colonization has contaminated local water supplies and contributed to the steady deforestation of the Ecuadorian rainforest over the past 50 years. But what has transpired over the past two years has exceeded our greatest expectations; instead of simply building family-sized rainwater harvesting and filtration systems, we have instead begun laying the foundation for an indigenous movement for clean water, cultural survival, and rainforest protection.
And we will continue to build this movement.
Clean water. Health. Dignity. For future generations. For the planet.