British companies and the water crisis in Colombia

22 March 2017 - 12:30pm

Today is World Water Day. Meanwhile mining operations in the global South continue to pollute and destroy vital land and water sources and deprive communties of the right to water and life. 

The La Guajira region of Colombia is home to the Cerrejon coal mine: a massive open pit mine that uses a staggering 17 million litres of water a day.

Yet in the last ten years some 5000 indigenous children have died due to a lack of access to drinking water in the region. The mine is jointly owned by Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore, all British-listed companies.

For too long big business has put profits before people and the planet.

War on Want partners, the Federation of Black and Brown Communities Affected by Mining in La Guajira, are fighting back and have succeeded in temporarily halting Cerrejon’s efforts to divert a main tributary which feeds the Rancheria River, the principle water source in the region.

War on Want supports its partners in Colombia by helping raise awareness of the issues here in the UK and making sure their voices are heard. War on Want is calling on the UK government to regulate the operations of British companies in order to safeguard the environment and communities’ right to water and life. 

Photo credit: Comite Civico por la Defensa de la Guajira. Marching in defence of Rancheria River

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