"Water is the source of life. Without clean water we can't survive."
These are the words of Emergildo Criollo, leader of the Cofan people in Ecuador. Emergildo was just a young boy when Chevron (then Texaco) began drilling for oil in his rainforest homeland using such substandard practices that some 18 billion gallons of toxic waste were dumped in the streams and rivers of the Amazon. Emergildo has been fighting for justice from Chevron ever since.
But after years of pressing a historic lawsuit against the Big Oil behemoth, Emergildo and the communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon still do not have access to clean water. This must change. We cannot wait for Chevron to do the right thing while families drink contaminated water.
Today a coalition of environmental organizations and human rights groups join forces to support a solution -- ClearWater -- a clean water project led by Ecuadorian communities to provide immediate relief to thousands of people across the region still suffering the effects of oil contamination.
Chevron is guilty of massive environmental crimes in the Amazon, but has chosen to spend millions on lobbyists, lawyers and PR firms instead of paying for a clean up of its mess. It's time for the world to stand with the communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon who are suffering the consequences of corporate abuse and a world addicted to oil.
Clear Water is about survival, justice and dignity.
At Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network and Groundwork Opportunities we are proud to support the ClearWater project and humbled to learn from communities in the Amazon how to face adversity with grace, dignity and courage.