Seven Weeks for Water
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. , 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.” -
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 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):
Leaders of the World Council of Churches, members of Reference Group of the Pilgrimage for Justice and Peace, All Africa Conference of Churches, Council of Churches of Nigeria and local churches will participate in the launch ceremony.
Reflections, liturgies and other resources will be uploaded to the EWN website every week, starting from 1March 2017. 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.