Doha Debates: Water Scarcity
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Doha Debates: Water Scarcity

September 21, 2019


(dark music)
– [Announcer] Dear World, we need to talk. Welcome to Doha Debates, where we are searching for
solutions to global challenges. (dramatic music) (people shouting) – We are facing one of the greatest
global risks of our time, the shortage of water. – Water scarcity impacts more than 40% of the world’s population. – We must depoliticize
the drought challenges in the Republic of South Africa. – With the expectation
of less water over time and more people, how can
we sustain life itself? – The warnings are clear. The statistics are startling. More than 2 billion
people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. Half of the world’s population will be in water-stressed areas by 2025. That’s just over five years from now, so is time running out or can
we still change the forecast? What urgent actions should
be taken and by whom? That is the subject of our
debate here tonight in Cape Town. – [Announcer] Please welcome your Doha Debates moderator, Ghida Fakhry. (uplifting music) (audience clapping) – Hello everyone, thank
you all very much indeed for being here. Welcome to our fourth
new live Doha Debate. We are in South Africa with university students
from across Cape Town. We’re also live streaming on Twitter, on Facebook, and on YouTube, as well as right here at South Africa’s own television network, ENCA. Now, access to safe clean drinking water is a fundamental human right, yet the United Nations says that it is one of the greatest
challenges of our time with global water usage growing twice as fast as
the world’s population. Major cities across the world are facing serious water shortages not just here in Africa. But Cape Town, where we are here where we are tonight, has had to deal with the prospect, the very real prospect,
of running out of water. This is the new reality we all face, whether its climate change
and the cycles of drought, whether it is water storage problems, weak management, or long
standing inequalities, the problems are there. So is there any doubt then that we are facing a global water crisis, and how do we solve it? We’ll be hearing from our three
guests in just a few moments but first our correspondent, Nelufar, can tell us more about how each one of you can get involved in this discussion; Nel. – Ghida, thank you. Yes of course, we will
be listening intently to our speakers here in the studio but this is the Doha Debates
which makes it a global one. As ever, we want to hear from you. If you use the hashtag #DearWorld, we will more readily be
able to find your comments on Facebook and Twitter,
and make sure you tune in and listen, comment, and
tell me what you think. I will be monitoring that for you, Ghida. – And I too very much look
forward to a lot of participation because as you say, Nel, this is a topic that touches so many
people around the world and affects us in so
many different places. What does the big picture look like? Let’s take a quick look
with our facts and figures. (mystical electronic music) – [Presenter] All of the
water on the planet today was here before humans even existed. We have yet to figure
out how to make more. To put a number on it that’s
roughly one sextillion, 260 quintillion liters of water on Earth. 97% of that is saltwater and the majority of the
remaining fresh water is frozen in ice caps and glaciers. So what’s actually accessible is just a fraction of a fraction. Funneling enough of
the world’s fresh water to where it’s most needed is difficult at the best of times, and it’s only going to get worse. 17 countries are under
extremely high water stress using over 80 percent of all
the water they have every year. Usually these countries
are dry to begin with and poor infrastructure
contributes to wasted water. The climate crisis further exacerbates the reliability of the water supply with erratic rainfall and hotter days. When droughts do hit,
they can be devastating. A human can only survive
a few days without water. It can take 3500 liters
of water to grow the food each person needs per day. The United Nations anticipates that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in water-scarce regions by 2025. Intense water scarcity could displace 700 million people globally
in the years following. The chance of cross-border
conflicts over water could rise by 95% in the next century. – So then, can we all afford to wait or do we all have to act, whether it is at the
global or sub regional or local or even grassroots level? What are the solutions that
will help us move forward and deal with this crisis? We have with us three guests
who’ve joined me here on stage with three very different perspectives on what the way forward should look like and how we make sure that there is access to this basic fundamental human right to everybody in the world, and they are: Yana Abu Taleb, Obakeng
Leseyane, and Georgie Badiel, and of course with us here as well, as always on the Doha Debates, our very own connector,
Dr. Govinda Clayton. – [Announcer] Dr. Govinda Clayton is a senior researcher in Peace Processes within the Center for Security
Studies at ETH Zurich. Dr. Clayton’s research interests include negotiation, mediation, conflict
management, and civil war. As our connector, Dr.
Clayton will provide guidance on identifying common ground and steering towards bridge
building and consensus. – So welcome to our connector who’s joining us here in the audience, and of course, now, time to
hear from our three guests. Just to tell everyone joining
us for this discussion that they each have just three
minutes to make their case. Do listen to them very carefully though because you will then have the chance to react to their arguments. But let’s get straight to it. Let’s hear from our speakers. – [Announcer] Our first
speaker, Yana Abu Taleb, believes the water scarcity crisis can only be resolved if
people work together, something she believes few
people are willing to do. A peacemaker, Yana is
the Jordanian director of EcoPeace Middle East in Amman. (audience claps) – Water scarcity is real. the solution is pragmatism I’d love to say it’s about
justice or about love or about humanity coming forward
in bold ways, but it’s not. It’s about practical solutions in which you get people to
put aside our differences, our biases, and work
together to do one thing, make water available. The only way to truly resolve the water conflict is cooperation. It isn’t easy. It means working with people you might not want to work with. If you really want to
know about water scarcity, come visit us in the Middle East. Water is scarce. In Jordan, my country, water consumption average
is 80 liters per day. Compare that to the UK
at 141 liters per day. To be clear, Jordanians are
not less thirsty than Brits. Water is simply less accessible. The problems do not get
better by themselves. According to the UN, 97%
of Gaza’s ground water will be undrinkable by year 2020. The lack of sanitation is threatening the outbreak of diseases. Can anyone really still be focusing on national solutions
to water issues, really? I work in the Middle East; India, Pakistan, Kosovo, Bosnia,
and other conflict zones. My organization, EcoPeace Middle East creates models of
cooperation on water issues. We address water scarcity
and water availability. For example most water
resources are far away, in Jordan, from the centers, making it expensive to pump water. We are promoting cross-border exchanges between Jordan, Israel, and Palestine as a way of reducing the
cost of pumping water. Cooperation for mutual benefit despite our political differences. The problem do not belong to one nation but affect the entire world. Think about the war in Syria. Consecutive years of drought was a contributing factor to the uprising. Some nations might now think and complain about waves of refugees but the question becomes, are we learning? Considering the magnitude
of problems facing humanity, the only way forward is cooperation. Through my work, I focus on
ecological peace-making efforts. I believe that is the only way forward. Thank you. (audience claps) – [Announcer] Our second
speaker, Obakeng Leseyane, believes that water scarcity
can only be addressed through the fight for
social justice and equality. Obakeng is a South African
education advocate, politics fellow, and youth activist. (audience claps) – There is no water scarcity, I’m sorry to inform you, not in South Africa, not in Africa, but we do have a crisis
of power and justice. We don’t need more NGOs, we don’t need more aid, we don’t need schools teaching
people how to dig wells. These are very well-meaning initiatives but they merely address
symptoms of a bigger problem. They fail to adjust the
structural root of injustice impacting access as well
as distribution of water. However, justice as a
lens for the debate today will allow for much more
complex solutions to emerge, solutions that take into
account systemic problems. Let’s explore my home, South Africa, the world’s most unequal country. Here, the divide between
the poor and the rich is so evident, often walking
distance between one another. You cannot speak about access to water without thinking about… You cannot speak about access to water as well as management of it without addressing the
structural legacy of… without addressing the
structural legacy of apartheid which, by the way, 25 years later, still continues along
the same racial lines as the day that it was created. In terms of limited access to water, the rich are very much
protected by their privilege, allowing them the exact same
comforts that they’re used to, their pools, their showers, their gardens. While the poor really,
really fight for survival. Water for cooking,
drinking, if lucky, bathing. Ultimately this debate tonight
is about justice denied, is about justice denied
in times of crisis. When water becomes scarce whose lives do we value the most? If we dare to be honest, systems protect the rich. The UNDP says that there is
enough water in most countries, including South Africa, to
meet household, agricultural, as well as environmental needs. What causes the problem here tonight is an unequal system of access rather than shortage of water itself. Therefore we sit with a justice crisis. Incompetent political
leadership is the primary reason for a largely ineffective
water infrastructure on the continent, the African continent. In most countries in the world, many of us have the chance
to elect political leaders. When we sit back and
do absolutely nothing, when that leadership fails,
we also fail ourselves. Our silence may leave us thirsty and sometimes, we may drop dead. We have to, by the way we have to, we have no other option but to demand that there
be just and equal access for those that have been
structurally excluded, mainly the poor people. Leaders are elected to
bridge the gaps of injustice, not enhance it for personal gain. Here’s what we can do. Here’s what we must do. Acknowledge that no system will serve the people
that it is created for unless we speak about
the structural injustice and that’s how we get
water into people’s hands. (audience claps) – [Announcer] Our final
speaker, Georgie Badiel, believes that the global water shortage is a humanitarian crisis
demanding philanthropy. Georgie, an international
model and former Miss Africa, is from Burkina Faso and is
the founder and chairwoman of the Georgie Badiel Foundation. (audience claps) – There is no water crisis. There is a money crisis and that is as someone from a country with gold underground beneath our feet. But that money never goes to the people. The gold is mined, the money is made, and we do not even get
access to clean water. In 2003, I become Miss Burkina Faso and the following year I
was crowned Miss Africa. I went on become a model for
international super brands like Louis Vuitton, Marc
Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg Zang Toi, but just like 663
million people around the world I grew up without access
to clean drinking water. As a child I have to walk
three hours with my grandmother to fetch water for our family. Water was, water is still
the woman’s responsibility, in my country and in much
of the developing world. Every day, women like me spend 266 million hours to walk for water. And that is why I started the Georgie Badiel Foundation in 2015, to finance the building
and repair of wells and create schools to empower
woman to do it for themselves. This is where the money comes in. We are teaching village
woman to build, repair, and maintain wells in their own village they so desperately need
for their daily water. We are empowering women by teaching them and pass it on, generation to generation. So far, in four years
we have brought water to over 270,000 people in Burkina Faso and the sub-Saharan countries. We have been working
with university partners and my government to
develop a comprehensive plan to deliver water to 100% of our population within five years. There was no doubt in my mind that the world’s wealthiest nation can handle water crisis. Let’s be real in here. These are the same nation that have been helping themselves with our resources for centuries. It is time but will they
finally stand up for humanity and say that no woman or
girl should miss school in order to get water for a family? Right now it is Fashion Week in New York. I could have stayed there and walk and make some money, but I choose to be here tonight to tell you that our generation
want the world to change. We need the world to change. We can do it, with money and with people like you right here in this room. It is time to trust us with the money. We will make the change. My approach is getting the money into the hands of the
people on the ground. Grassroots, activists. Thank you. (audience claps) – Thank you very much indeed to all three of our speakers, a very passionate plea
for what needs to be done to solve what some believe
is a very real crisis, what others believe is just a facade for something much deeper. So is there a crisis of water scarcity or is that more of an issue
of structural injustice? Is that perhaps an
issue of bad governance? Do we need more money
to deal with this issue? Let me give you a quick
recap of all three positions. Yana, who spoke first, believes that there is
indeed a real crisis. She says we have to work together, that the key here is cooperation, even among traditional enemies; that the solution lies in
the international system. “The problem doesn’t belong
to one nation,” she says, “neither should the solution. “The only way forward
is through cooperation.” Then we heard Obakeng, who sees
the issue quite differently, saying we do not have a crisis
of water shortage at all. What there is is a real
deficit in justice, in access to water resources
for the poorest in the world. He says, “We need to demand access for those who have been
excluded, excluded structurally,” that we need to make sure that we have the kinds of leaders who will be held accountable. And finally, Georgie also
believes in many respects that there isn’t really a water crisis as much as there is a crisis of humanity, a crisis of money and the
need for more financial aid to make sure that this
problem is addressed and addressed effectively. It’s about empowering local
grassroots organizations, the women and young girls in villages who are at the heart of this issue, who walk for hours every day, millions of hours in fact, every day, just to get their hands
on safe drinking water. It’s about philanthropy
and about generosity. So these, in a nutshell, are
the three different positions. The question now is where do you stand and which of these three positions do you most closely identify with? – [Announcer] It’s time to vote. We need your input to find
common ground among the speakers. We want to know exactly how much value you attach to the arguments you’ve heard. You have a total of 100 points to divide. You can divide them over one,
two, or all three statements. To do so, simply assign
points to the statements on a sliding scale. – All right, so on to your phones, let’s get your votes and
while we do, in fact, let me turn once more
to our correspondent Nel to give us a sense of what
people out there online have been feeling about this debate. – Thank you, Ghida. Yes, I mean, those are
very powerful speeches and very powerful ways of
getting across the issue of solving the problem. That’s what people online
seem to be focusing on. There’s a big divide between
people on Twitter here, at least, using that hashtag #DearWorld, asking what is the ratio between personal and
public responsibility? Should it be 50/50? Is one person more
responsible than a government? And then I just want to shout out to a couple of people here who have sent in photos
of their viewing parties. That’s a group of you
who have come together to watch this crucial
and important debate. We’ve got Matt Fanstock
in Pennsylvania U.S.A. with a class full of young people who are watching this debate go on and another one, Ghida, in Doha where we’re used to being. More often than not, I think they miss us, they want us to come back, but the debate rages on on Twitter and we’re getting some really interesting comments and questions. – Great, Nelufar. Let me see now if we do have our results. I’ll just wait to hear from our producer. I believe that we may have our results. Not just yet? Well, while we do wait for these results, Nelufar, are you seeing any
kind of trend emerge online? – Absolutely, a lot of the questions seems to be about access, which all three of our
speakers talked about, Ghida. Access seems to be the main point. Is it a political issue? I’ve got a direct tweet
here from Fatima who says, “Dear World, water
access should be an issue “where all countries, hand-in-hand, “help less developed countries. “If we don’t, then the world will live on “and we wouldn’t be able
to survive past 2030.” She says, “I urge the youth to speak up. “It’s our world, we need to save it.” Ghida.
– Right, thanks very much, and yes I think we do
indeed now have our results. Let’s take a look and see which of these three positions have resonated the most with everyone who’s
participating in this discussion. I think there’s a clear position that is a little bit
further ahead than the rest and that is that water
scarcity is just a facade. Let’s address the real issues, the structural injustice issues. That was the position that
was expressed by Obakeng, and then we’ve got the issue
of water scarcity being real but the need to find pragmatic solutions and to cooperate, that
was Yana’s position. And finally, water
scarcity is not the issue. Let’s fund grassroots organizations. Georgie, your position at 28.3%, but let me just say that
there is room, actually, for us to see these results move forward and you will get the chance to do this when I actually push the
boundaries a little bit and delve a little bit deeper into each one of your perspective and that’s coming up next. – [Announcer] Welcome to the Majlis, a traditional Arab
consensus-building practice. The focus of the Majlis is to
welcome critical conversations and reach solutions. Ghida will encourage our speakers to bridge differences
and find common ground. – So we talk about common
ground and bridging differences, but can we get to a position of consensus? And in fact, I’d like to know
what people in the audience and of course those of
you following us online actually think of this, because I know there are
lots of university students here in the audience in Cape Town, with very strong views
about this hot topic. So I would urge you to please think about the position and jump in at any point. We do not want to save this bit to last but we want to delve
right into our majlis, our discussion part, and I will begin the
conversation with you, Georgie, because I was struck by
some of what you said. As you mentioned, as a young child, as a young girl growing up in
your village in Burkina Faso you had to walk for hours, sometimes up to three
and a half hours a day to fetch clean drinking water. And today as a very
successful career woman, you are doing your bit to help those other girls and
children in your village be able to spend less hours fetching water and to be able to focus on education and other things that
are worthy of their time. But let’s face it though, when you talk about the
need for more money, more financial aid, is
that really the solution? Isn’t it just a band-aid
that, as Obakeng suggested, just looks at the symptom but never really addresses the root causes of this issue, the structural injustice
behind this whole issue? What do you say? – Yeah, absolutely. You know, I speak through my experience and I love that Obenga
mentioned injustice, because this is how I felt for years. When I started the
Georgie Badiel Foundation I have a lot of challenge in the sense that as a young African woman, I… If today, let’s say, I have the funds that I need to bring clean drinking water to the whole population of Burkina Faso which is about 18 million. it will happen like this. – [Ghida] Yeah but… – This is why I think that
money is very important, and as I said on my
speech, in just four years we have brought water
to over 270,000 people with very little funds. So what we’ve raised goes
toward doing the work, and what I see on the
ground is the grassroots, small grassroots organization, founded by young people like me, Generation Y & Z, we are
getting the work done. This is why I believe in
the grassroot organization and I believe that if the funds are put in on the right ends, the work will be done. Because, my generation, we do not want to wait anymore. We are tired of this struggle. We want the problem to be solved.
– Let’s ask a new generation. Obakeng, do you agree with
what Georgie has just said? I think you’re 22 years
old, if I’m not mistaken, there are lots of young
people in the audience, too. Georgie herself alluded to the pitfalls of calling on wealthy nations to come in and help. You talked about the exploitation of Africa’s resources,
that you say has gone on for far too long, for centuries in fact, by asking for more foreign aid, which, Obakeng, you say you
do not want to see more of. Aren’t you in fact opening yourself up to more of this form of
neo-colonial economics under the guise, quite often, of aid? – I mean firstly, let us just address the fact that I think there’s a part in targeting young girls and teaching them that perpetuates the gender expectation that it’s a woman’s
responsibility to fetch water. On one hand, you are
seemingly delivering water because wells are there
but there’s a part where why don’t you teach boys the same thing? Why did it become, women are
going to be our primary focus because I do understand that in like sub-saharan Africa about
78% percent of girls start school but less than 8% of them finish secondary school. that I’m like when we place
these expectation on women, to really, really perpetuate
this patriarchal expectation that they’re just there
to be domesticated, and to be quite frank. – I will answer to that and say that the reason why my focus
is women and young girl is because they get the work done. With the work, that… Yes, they do!
(audience claps) They do, women will get the work done! With the work I that have
been doing in Burkina Faso, there is a lot of people that know, specially mens, they know
how to restore wells, but when a well is broken in the village, the people do not have
money to repair the well. they will go to the
men, they will be like, “You pay me otherwise you
just go fetch the water.” So women, by teaching women how to do it, I would pass the knowledge
from generation to generation. – But you know what? There’s a world where a woman should… She should have options, right? I’m like, you can’t just
reduce it to the fact that women, for sure, do
know how to get stuff done, but like I also know women
that would love to have options of not having to dig a well, just sit back and then have a man do it. That, I may want to dig a well. – So Obakeng, let me just bring you back to the question that I was trying to ask so we don’t open this
into yet another debate, a much bigger debate,
perhaps, on the gender divide. Let me just bring you back to this point that Georgie clearly made and that you seem to disagree with. She says “We need more aid, more finance, “to deal with this situation.” You say “No need for more aid.” What do you say to those who believe that Africa in fact cannot
stand on its own feet? Not just Africa, but many other
governments around the world that are plagued by corruption and have limited financial resources. What do you say to those who believe you do need more finances? – I think there’s a world where, okay granted, you’re given the money, and management of it, I mean, I don’t know how many corruption
scandals we deal with, particularly on the African continent, that throwing money at a problem, for me, has just never been an option because fundamentally, what some of these international NGOs do, is that the money comes with
certain terms and conditions that are not disclosed. And then 20 years later, yes,
you did have a well, whatever, and you now find yourself
in another problem of trying to regain your sovereignty, because that money did
have terms and conditions, that I’m like if that aid comes with terms and conditions that will fundamentally not do more good to the people that it’s claiming to do good for, then we don’t want it. – So Yana, how do you look
at this conversation here? In that you clearly are the
one, the only one on stage, who believes that this isn’t a myth, and this isn’t a facade,
this is a real issue, especially for countries
within the Middle East, which are among the most water-stressed. Your own country, I know, Jordan is among the poorest water resourced countries. Do you still believe that
cooperation is the way forward or that grassroots organizations
and national governments should be the ones
dealing with the problem? – I’ll always say and believe that cooperation is the only way forward. I mean, I definitely agree
with both Georgie and Obakeng that those are parts of the equation. Money is needed, justice is needed, but we all need to be working together, all different levels. What we do, as an organization, is we work on the policy level. We bring decision-makers to understand what needs to happen. We equip them and we empower them with the research needed, the studies to bring the figures and the data that will show them that projects related to
water issues should happen, but we also work with
the grassroot levels. We empower them with the information to understand their water realities, because they’re the most affected. And at the same time, they’re the only ones
that will make any project sustainable for the future. And in between and in the middle, we also bring in donor money because, for Jordan and Palestine, donor money is needed. The countries can’t afford
to implement projects related to water and sanitation or it would have been different. – Sure, it all sounds wonderful on a theoretical level. Cooperation, as you say, for
the mutual benefit of everyone, a win-win situation, you argue, but is it really the case when… Take the Middle East, there
are very blatant asymmetries in the power structures that goes on that exists in the region. If you just take the case of
the Palestinians and Israelis and the Jordan River which
feeds so many of them, including Jordanians as well, and another Syrians
with some of the water. We know the data has shown that Israelis get three
to five times more access to clean safe drinking
water than Palestinians do. Can you really say there is cooperation and mutual benefit that actually delivers for everyone on an equal footing? – What we want to create is that equitable sharing between people. The projects that were we’re working on that are solution-oriented is not looking at the big picture alone. What we’re doing instead of the politics that want to be looking at solving all the final status issues together, we’re taking water as a way forward. And what we’re doing is slicing it into small
pieces; that’s important. If you talk to the Palestinian
authorities, they’re saying, “Why are you talking to
us about the Jordan River “when we don’t have rights
to the Jordan River?” – But is the question of
justice also important on a broader level?
– It’s very important. – Between nations, among peoples? It’s very important to
bring that water justice and what we’re calling for is we can’t have accept justful
peace between our people, But let’s again focus
on a basic human need which is water, and start with that. This is how we build trust between the people living
in the three countries but what’s more important
is that we can’t solve all the major problems of
water rights all at once, but what we can do is start
with small projects on ground for the Palestinians, let’s say, because you mentioned Palestine, that would enable those people to stay and stick to their communities and then work for the
bigger rights issues, – The bigger rights issues, are we also, by talking
about these broad issues of justice and so on, are we missing some of the point which is as you well know, Obekang, and you’ve mentioned it,
to do with bad governance? The African Development Bank said so much in the case of Africa, that it’s an issue of
mismanagement of resources. Do you agree? Do you agree, Georgie? What should be done on that level on that sort of policy level? – Again, I’m gonna come on my standby is, to me, what I’ve seen from my experience, is the governments which the African government have shown what they can do for the
people, which isn’t much. This is why we are still struggling, and from my experience,
what can be solved, who can solve the problem of philanthropy? Activists, grassroots, these are the people that I strongly, because I am on the ground every day and the reason for me, the
reason why I focus on women, is because water is a women issue. Water is a woman problem in my country. You know, when I have
to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to go fetch water with my grandmother, my cousin boys, my
brothers, were sleeping. Because they were just saying that “No, that’s not the boy’s problem.” So for me to come in and solve that, it will take too long, so I have amazing women on the ground that I think it’s very
important to empower them so that they can do it. And of course, everybody volunteer. You want to learn how to build the well? You welcome. – As you say, it will take too long to change all of these policies and put the right leaderships in position. Obakeng, would you agree? Isn’t it better to have a philanthropist able to do the job right there and then? – Oh, no no no no. For me, the problem becomes that you can only solve for like
such a small group of people. You can never do it at national level. We can’t afford to be apolitical
about basic human rights. The government is really
mandated to provide. Even this the province
that we are in right now, you find that, in Cape Town, townships use less than
5% of the city’s water and the other 95% of it
goes to the suburbs, right? There’s a deep conversation to be had here about, how is it that
townships have more people but get the least amount of water? (audience claps) – Yet you say there is
no water scarcity issue. Can you seriously say that to the people of Cape Town?
– It’s not a scarcity issue. – We’re on the brink of Day Zero.
– It’s an access. – It’s an access, but isn’t it also an issue of scarcity? Yana, could you address this point before I actually turn to the audience and take a question from someone who is willing to ask a
question in the front row, but let me just ask you as well, Yana. What do you say, what do we say, to the people of Chennai,
the city in India which is almost ran out
completely of water? Satellite images have shown that water levels in the main reservoir has actually shrunk to 1%
of what it was last year. – So there’s definitely–
– Is it myth or reality? – Yeah, there’s definitely
a water scarcity issue, and it’s becoming even worse
with the climate change that we’re all feeling it,
everywhere around the world. But what I would like to ask both Obakeng and Georgie is
that do you really believe that those solutions on their own are practical moving forward? So it’s only the government’s
responsibility alone or the civil society as
the grass roots alone? Do you think that is
sustainable to move us forward? – So, we work with the with the government to find the real solution on how we’re going to
bring clean drinking water to 100% of the population. To be honest with you, as grass root, we cannot now work with the government. It’s impossible, not in Burkina Faso. But now when it comes to funds, I strongly believe that
the funds should land on grassroots organization that will get the work done. – But what about the rules
and regulations then? Who will protect access? Equal access to people. How will we ensure that if we don’t work with the government? – We work with the government. – Yeah?
– We work, we work together. That’s what I’m saying. – [Yana] Okay, and
you’re saying, Obakeng– – So targeted investments is what you’re saying. Obakeng, do you have a
quick thought on this before I go to the audience? – I definitely think
cooperation is important but often in corporations, people have very, very different
invested interest in it. I would find it quite hard that… someone with a very,
very low economic muscle in corporations of trying
to spread out resources is going to be prioritized. Imagine a world where government, for me, is the only force that can ensure that regardless of your
socio-economic class, that you can have access. I’m not entirely sure that corporations that exist in some corners that we quite frankly don’t know of can ensure that for every small citizen. – So again, the social divides and the suspicions that it often breeds when it comes to big corporate interests. A quick question there from the audience. – Okay, uh… – [Ghida] So introduce yourself briefly and just make your question as quick and concise as you can. – Yes, greetings everyone. My name is Minisi Themba Komalo. I’m a Stellenbosch University student, and I’m currently standing at one question for Georgie. The question is, okay, we understand that there’s
a fundamental problem here on the ground which is
water crisis as said but accurately, Obakeng,
this is not just a crisis. This has other elements or needs which this justice, inequality, and corruption, and power. So if you’re gonna talk about gender roles in addressing water, we’re not really solving any problem. The problem is for
every single human being who consume water. So how do we tackle that at the cost of not looking
people as individuals but at looking at the
problem collectively? So how can you, as a philanthropist, address that problem as a holistic thing above just gender roles? So, yeah… – Yes, thank you. Thank you very much for your question. You know, in Burkina Faso, When I say we have
different realities, uh? On every country, we
have different realities. In my country, Burkina Faso, water is a woman issue. And of course on many
other countries, it is. A lot of mens in villages have knowledge on how to restore, for example, a well. I have been to villages
where they have wells and there is mens out there that have the knowledge to do it but they won’t do it until the village actually
bring the funds to do it. All the the male comes in and do it, they will not do it. That is the reality that I have observed. And I live on the ground. That said, for me is very important to empower my sisters, my mothers, to do the work for themself because tomorrow, if they
don’t bring the water home, if the man comes home at
night and there isn’t water the woman will be in trouble. So that’s the way of me
of solving our problems. – Georgie, let’s go to another question, so we can make the most
of the minutes left to us. – Hi everyone, this is Felicia Maloleke from UWC, University of Western Cape. So to you, Georgie. You mentioned something that you’re the founder of
the Georgie Badiel Foundation which requires funding, right? So on that issue of funding, how do you go on deciding
who you gonna get money from and are they like organizations that are an exception, that you won’t be getting money from? – Yes, thank you for your question. You know, this struggle has been real for my organization to raise funds, but most of the time we’ll go through, we have a few corporations
that are supporting us. We have a few organizations
that are supporting us and mostly individuals and schools. So I’m hoping to have more organizations that will come in and support what we do because we get the work done. We bring the water to the people. We empower the people to
sustain what they have. – [Ghida] So let’s see,
are any more questions for the other two speakers on stage? – Good evening, my name’s Monique, I’m 18 years old. As me being 18 and Obakeng, you 22, what do we as young people exactly do to make a change? How do we demand social justice? (audience murmurs) (audience claps) – That’s a really, really good question, and thank you for it. Let’s just make an example. In this city that we’re in, about a week and a half ago, a young U-City girl was murdered and raped, right? And the government only responded because people mobilized and then demanded that
there be a response. People are still trying
to keep the same energy. What can we learn from that? If we sit back and do absolutely nothing for government, business
continues as usual. But if you get to the
point where you’re saying, “We have a big enough group of people” and you give them no other
option but to listen. – [Ghida] Power in numbers
and power in mobilization. Another question from the audience? (audience clapping) – Yes, thank you. Firstly, bonsoir and good evening. My name is Roderique Gabrielle from the University of Cape Town. I’m also with the organization
called One Africa Project and my question is directed to Yana. You touched on the issue of
the Palestine and Israeli issue and I would just like to know so one of the Doha Debates’ key principles is working across differences, so how do we convince
Israelis and Palestinians, for example, to even agree or listen, to meet with one another? So, what are the pragmatic ways that we can get this done? Thank you. – Wonderful and a broad
question to answer. But the first thing is, the aim for us is to really build trust so we’re very focused on highlighting the issues of the shared water resources. Working with the grassroots, first of all we prepare
people on the national levels to understand their water reality and what’s happening, the
challenges that are occurring around that shared water resource, for them to understand that it’s shared and without cooperation, we will not be able to move forward. We also highlight what win/win situation this cooperation will bring to enable us to move forward. On the policy level, like I said, we create research, research that is done
by international teams by teams from the three countries that support and provide decision-makers with the data, with the numbers, to show that we will be creating win-win situations for all if we are to cooperate to
achieve better water management for our shared resources. – so as we touch on this
issue of conflict resolution, perhaps a good place to
bring in our connector, Govinda Clayton. We’ve stirred things up a
little bit here on stage. Do you see much need for mediation among our three speakers? – Well, there’s always need for mediation but I mean, I think it’s
been really interesting hearing all the speakers touching a range of different topics and there’s been different
positions put out there. But underlying this seems to be a lot of commonalities between everybody. So first of all, I
think this kind of focus on whether or not there’s
a scarcity crisis, whether it’s a crisis,
whether it’s scarcity, is perhaps not important, because it seems to be
a broad understanding between everybody that
there’s clearly a problem and there’s a range of different solutions that all need to be adopted in order to address this problem. I think Yana set this out quite nicely but I think we also saw a compliment from the other speakers as well, that clearly, there’s an
ecosystem of different responses that each need to be
undertaken at different levels, wherever that be at the grassroots level, the national level, or
the international level. – Thanks very much,
Govinda, for these thoughts. We’re going to be checking
on the pulse of this room one more time, with a second
vote in just a few minutes. We in fact have three minutes for two more questions from the audience so let’s get the first one. – Hello, my name is Chantal from Cape Peninsula
University of Technology. It’s not really a question but it’s to stir up the conversation. With all these topics happening where does innovation come in? Because we are a generation that’s moving into innovation and that’s the solution
to most of our problems. So where does it fall in here? – Thank you, very important question. Innovation and innovative technologies. How much room is there for that? We’ve got people around
the world, as we speak, looking at all sorts of ways to bring innovation into this equation. Georgie, to you. – Yeah, I wanted to add that one thing that we also do is we partner with universities so that they can help us bring
the right solution innovative so that the whole country I would say Burkina Faso
is the first country that I’m focusing on, but a
solution that we will find hopefully that will help
the other countries. Mali, Niger, you know,
hopefully the whole world, but yes we are partnering
with universities to come with something great innovative to bring clean water to the world. – Should we also be looking at old fashioned ways of looking at this? Recycling, using wastewater, as Namibians have been doing for the past five decades? Obakeng, very quickly. – Yeah, so in terms of innovation, I’ll give you a very personal example. Last year I moved down to Cape Town and I was obviously looking for a house and then I ended up getting a house share with a bunch of friends. We did something very, very basic. When you shower, that water, sometimes like a lot of water, spills on the ground. We use some of that water to now also flush toilets. That is our saying, “You know what, life may depend on water “but conservation of it
largely depends on us.” It’s not necessarily innovation
in terms of technology. It can also be innovation in terms of changing your behavior. – Should we be changing our behavior in the Middle East context as well, where there’s a lot of
money spent on desalination? About 70 percent of the investments with, as we know, the side effects when it comes to the
environment and health, should we be looking
more at new technologies water harvesters and the rest?
– Definitely. I mean, there is no one
proper solution for all but definitely, a part of
what we should be doing is looking at the small initiatives even in the rural communities, of, and this is something
we promote all the time, rainwater harvesting, decentralized solutions
for treatment plants, green filters, those are
very important to happen and then we look at big projects like the desalination projects. – [Ghida] Do we have a final quick comment before we take the vote? – Yeah, water, it’s 2009. Water is our life source. – 2019.
– Yet I feel as if we’re sitting in a
Mad Max film watching it. So my question is what about education? You spoke about money; money leads to corruption. You spoke about social injustice; leads to education. You spoke about partnerships. If we’re honest with each other, are we really in partnerships? Are we doing our best for social justice by educating our youth? Where is our youth?
– All right. – And then you talk about money!
– So, we got the point, and we have to leave
it there unfortunately because I think I will ask each of our speakers to
address these points, raising awareness and education,
in their final comments, and the issue of money as well. I do have to go to a very quick vote, so I’d ask everyone to get
onto their phones one more time and to see whether they’ve
been swayed in any direction by the arguments that were just made. And in the mean time,
Nel, to you once again, to give us a sense of
what’s going on online. – I’m trying to keep a hold
of what’s going on online. There’s chatter all around me. You guys have really gotten into the meat and bones of this issue, but I’ve got so much debate and discussion being had online. First and foremost, hello to Palestine or Palestinians
watching us on Twitter, @DohaDebates, using
that hashtag #DearWorld. I’ve come across someone with
the handle @sadpalestinian and she says, “I think
a really important issue “that should be addressed in the debate “is the privatization of
water, a basic human need, “by corporations and how capitalism “is one of the main causes of this issue,” And then, Ghida, we’ve got
a general consensus again about the need to have a
multi-faceted approach to this but there seems to be a
lot of comments here about asking how do we run out
of water in the first place if we’ve got a certain amount of water? I mean, it’s definitely
not a stupid question, it’s definitely an intelligent one, but how do we run out
of in the first place? Now for those of you
– So, Nelufar, – who are watching–
– we have our results in. Quick final remark? – Yes, for those of you
who are watching online make sure you stay tuned for the post show because that is when we will get to the rest of the questions here and to you online. Ghida!
– All right, wonderful. Thank you, Nelufar. Let’s put up these results and I suppose let’s have
the first round up initially so we can compare both, though. Our first results are there onscreen as you can see them, 30%, 41%, and 28%. Has the needle moved very far? I don’t think it has. Even though again, clearly,
the second position that was articulated by you, Obakeng, is the one that seems to
have garnered the most vote. So in your closing remarks, please address that final
question that was asked. the need to educate, not
just girls, boys as well, the young new generation, to take care of this vital resource which is obviously not finite. To you, Obakeng. – To be quite honest, I think there’s a conversation to be had about knowing what to do
and you actually doing it. I don’t think people don’t
know how to take care of water or to be thoughtful about it. The question is, are they willing to? If they’re not willing to, then how do you enforce
that water be taken care of? Because it goes to the question of how do we even run out of
water in the first place? And I would argue, it’s purely because of poor management of it, management of thinking, “Oh, this thing is just
gonna be here forever.” – Okay, so just in a word or two, the solution for you? – Solution in terms of? – The solution for this
problem moving forward. If you were just to say
it in a word or two, what would it be? – I just think that
systems have to be created with a just philosophy. – A just philosophy. For you, Georgie, someone
asked about the issue of money. Is it still all about money for you or is there much more to it and you heard different
perspectives here today? – To me personally, is
when we have the money, we get the work done. So we need the money to get
the work done on the ground. That’s the reality. that’s what we are living now. Only in Burkina Faso, there
is over 5,000 broken wells, and those wells… Building a well is engineering and to me, is kind of like
giving a car to someone that does not know how to drive. This is when education comes in. This is when education, educating women, is very important to me, so they can pass it on from
generation to generation and investing in grassroots organization in partnership with the government can get the work done. Thank you.
– All right, getting the work done through education, through investment through money in the right hands. For you, Yana, what is the solution? You yourself alluded to the point that cooperation has its limit. We saw with climate change. Didn’t get us very far. – Yes, but we still need to cooperate. That’s the only way forward. On the national levels, all different stakeholders
including people ourselves we need to know what is our role that we should play? Scientists, funds, governments, we should all be strategizing on a justful base together to ensure that water is
in the hands of everyone. Education is a very important tool. – So on this note, for
you, it’s about education. It’s about the small actions that we can all take
on an individual level but beyond that, about
policies that are put together at the national, sub-regional,
international levels as well. As I thank you all very much indeed for, and I know we would want to
continue the conversation, but unfortunately, we must end it here. We will continue this
conversation with our audience and obviously online as well. I am reminded though by
the great South African, Nelson Mandela, as we end, that “anything that seems impossible,
is, until it’s done.” And as we end our discussion I’m most reminded by
another great South African, the African human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who also said something quite interesting. He once said, “Do your little bit of good where you are. “It is those little bits
of good put together “that can actually overwhelm the world.” So something for each
one of us to think about as I thank you all for being part of this important discussion. Thank you to all of the
students from Cape Town who joined us, thank you to
our three wonderful speakers who have so much more to say. Our next debate on capitalism will be in Doha on 23 October. We hope that you’ll be
able to join us then. Till then, from me, Ghida Fakhry, and the entire Doha Debates team, though, thanks very much indeed for being with us. See you soon. (audience claps) (gentle music) – [Nelufar] Don’t go anywhere!

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  1. Research and technology and art and science and innovation are you and me can we add ko nga si to the unknown in a cage of the rings of a human being that we have to be a part in a society that we have a lot a cr natatawa ako halhaXD

  2. Wonderful ! try tomake changes for these thinks to make awareness but the people have to co operate. So we have to get these things to even to a domestic villages . Because only making awareness to cities cannot make changes .so we have to first United.and try to face the global warming. we have to make proper sanitization of water wasteges

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