rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Reality check on water and climate

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

To drive home the message that water-related impacts are key to how climate change is experienced by communities around the world, South African NGOs Umphilo waManzi and Capetown Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG) hosted a "water reality tour" on Thursday, December 1. Discussions were led by people active in the sector at both grassroots and policy levels. The tour showcased experiences of what communities have done to secure their water rights in South Africa's urban and rural areas within the context of the challenges posed by climate change.

The goal was to highlight community-led water management initiatives in Cape Town, efforts to secure water for food production in KwaZulu-Natal, community and municipality responses to drought in the southern Cape, and more. It was also an opportunity to contribute to the growing discourse and activism on water and climate change.

Here is what Director of Umphilo waManzi Mary Galvin had to say:

"Our session today included lively discussion between people from social movements, NGOs, and unions. One of the main questions related to where people should expend their energies. We have had years of advocacy related to implementing South Africa's admirable policies. To date, local government has been unresponsive and the country has experienced extensive service delivery protests. It is not about communities taking over government responsibilities, but if we wait for leaders to act then we are even more vulnerable. We can begin to adapt, promote localisation, and consider means of achieving water sovereignty. This will require a significant shift in mindsets of waiting for the government to fix all. But it is based on people's power of the 99 per cent  holding 1 per cent accountable."

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.