Girl scouts fight for water security
The Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) will award a water challenge badge to members who fight for water security. This badge is a key component of the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance challenge badge series.
When the private sector joins ranks with civil society for the Movement for Water Security (MWS), it must also tap girl scouts as key allies. This will be highlighted at the National Water Conference organized by the Climate Change Commission on Nov. 20.
After a meeting with MWS convenors on Nov. 12, GSP president Susan Locsin and national executive director Dolores Santiago said they would support the MWS by giving special emphasis on the water crisis in their credo.
Leaders of important movements should shift from the largely dominant older and male sector. Instead, due importance should be given to the younger and female sector.
Girl scouts fit this bill perfectly. They are young, filled with passion and new ideas, and the future belongs to them. They are female, and have often shown superior attributes in today’s complex environment. Studies have shown their high competence in areas such as multitasking, sensitivity, emotional intelligence, thoroughness, discipline.
In addition, the girl scouts give special attention to the marginalized sector. Many come from this sector and understand it well. Deeply committed to the cause, some now occupy high positions in government, private sector and civil society.
Today, the GSP has 800,000 members across the country.
Note that the GSP also has a praiseworthy record in addressing the water challenge. For example, to help in the reforestation of 5.7 million denuded hectares that have ceased to become a major resource of water, the GSP has launched the Pista ng Kagubatan in Southern Luzon. There are similar projects in Bukidnon, Davao del Sur and Misamis Oriental, where the scouts not only plant trees but also make sure they grow. This must be a lesson for those who only rely on the optics of planting.
To recover part of a total of 300,000 mangrove hectares which guard against floods and storm surges, GSP has a model project in Bohol.
To increase our dismal 4-percent rainwater harvesting rate (compared to India’s 60-percent rate in key areas), girl scout Mary Anne Kagalawan of Antique has a solution: “The community collects water from the other mountain about seven kilometers away. A water reservoir was constructed to provide clean water, and a garden built so that the excess water from the reservoir would be put to good use.”
As the movement strengthens, the girl scouts must play a decisive role in getting more allies and help spread their already exemplary work.
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