Among the first Executive Orders issued by President Trump was an order to ease environmental review processes for large-scale projects, promote the use of fossil fuels and dismantle previously instituted climate change agendas. WaterAid is not an ‘environmental organization’. But we do have a thing or two to say about what the implications of this Executive Order will be for the communities and people we serve.

Climate change threatens thousands of families that WaterAid supports, and water and sanitation programs are critical to help communities cope with and adapt to the impacts. Changes in weather patterns arising from climate change are already affecting the availability of water in many places--whether resulting in too much water (more frequent floods and monsoons), or not enough (drought). In places where water sources are drying up, people’s basic right to water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning is being compromised. In places that are being inundated with water more frequently, existing infrastructure like wells and latrines may be destroyed.

This new Executive Order has the potential to undermine the work that we and others are doing to help communities respond to increasing climate variability. It also has the potential to prioritize business, governance and infrastructure decisions ahead of protecting our human right to water, both at home and abroad.

From Bangladesh to MadagascarFlint to Standing Rock, you can count on us to continue working with our partners in the development and environmental sectors to drive home the message that the human right to water is a fundamental right that must be protected.

To read more about our stance on the environment and more, take a look at our blog post, explaining our approach and why we work to provide water, sanitation and hygiene to everyone, everywhere.