El agua como bien común

273
Alexandra Gutiérrez en escuela comunitaria del agua.

“Las mujeres son las mayores responsables de la gestión del agua a nivel doméstico y comunitario, sus responsabilidades a este respecto son 70% mayores que las asumidas por los hombres. Son ellas quienes soportan las peores consecuencias derivadas de los problemas ambientales asociados con el agua, al significar más horas de trabajo diario, menos ingresos, mayores problemas de nutrición y seguridad alimentaria”

Renata Cabrales
@RENATARELATA 

Alexandra Gutiérrez se dedica al fortalecimiento de los acueductos comunitarios en el departamento de Boyacá, con el fin de lograr mayor incidencia política y el  reconocimiento como actor social fundamental en la gestión del agua en los territorios. Una de las estrategias utilizadas para este fin, es el desarrollo de la Escuela comunitaria del agua, de la que es responsable en Boyacá y cuyos objetivos son el fortalecimiento de la identidad y la articulación regional. La escuela, según Alexandra, busca además, evitar la privatización del derecho humano al agua y proteger el territorio. Asimismo, que se adelante la gestión de conservación de los ecosistemas que son estratégicos para la recarga hídrica y que se generen formas de apoyo mutuo con solidaridad y participación democrática.

A propósito de la conmemoración del Día Internacional del Agua, marzo 22, Alexandra Gutiérrez, en una conversación con VOZ, nos explica qué son los acueductos comunitarios, sus objetivos y sus logros.

–¿Qué son los acueductos comunitarios?

–En Colombia, el acceso y suministro de agua en las zonas rurales y urbanas- populares, ha sido garantizado históricamente por la misma comunidad, quien la autogestiona en su territorio, a través de organizaciones conocidas como acueductos comunitarios; según datos recientes de la Superintendencia de Servicios Públicos, se estima que existen cerca de 15.000 organizaciones de este tipo. La construcción de los sistemas de acueducto se ha caracterizado por la cooperación mutua, la solidaridad, la necesaria construcción colectiva y el escaso apoyo institucional.

Los acueductos comunitarios son organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro, instituciones populares de economía solidaria integradas por comuneros y comuneras del agua en igualdad de derechos y deberes; las decisiones son tomadas en asambleas comunitarias y se relacionan con el agua como bien común y derecho humano fundamental por lo que el autoabastecimiento de agua por parte de las comunidades fortalece la capacidad de soberanía sobre este bien común.

–¿Quiénes hacen parte del proyecto?

–La población que se beneficia y hace parte de los acueductos comunitarios es en esencia población campesina que desarrolla prácticas agropecuarias o alguna actividad con animales como la lechería o la pequeña ganadería. La construcción de los sistemas proviene de un conocimiento heredado de generación en generación, saberes y prácticas ancestrales que a través de la experiencia han logrado conocer y manejar los ritmos y cambios del agua y su ecosistema.

La gestión comunitaria del agua es realizada en un país donde se profundiza una política que impone la extracción ilimitada de los bienes comunes que sustentan la vida en los territorios, donde se aplican y crean leyes que imponen requisitos administrativos y tecnológicos que no se ajustan a las realidades y necesidades de estas organizaciones comunitarias y, en el que se entregan servicios esenciales para la población al mercado.

En este marco de mercantilización de los bienes comunes se promulga la Ley 142 de 1994, por la cual se establece el régimen de los servicios públicos domiciliarios y se dictan otras disposiciones, que desconoce la gestión comunitaria del agua. Esta ley promueve la transformación empresarial de todos los prestadores, bajo el pretexto de una mayor eficiencia en la prestación. Acompañando esta transformación empresarial están los grandes operadores especializados, principalmente privados.

–¿Cuál es el objetivo de la Red Nacional de Acueductos Comunitarios?

–La Red Nacional de acueductos comunitarios de Colombia es un proceso de articulación a nivel nacional de organizaciones que agrupan diferentes asociaciones, redes y federaciones de acueductos comunitarios, constituida para luchar por el fortalecimiento y reconocimiento de la gestión comunitaria del agua. Hacen parte de la Red organizaciones de Cundinamarca, Boyacá, Santander, Tolima, Meta, Guaviare, Casanare, Huila, Nariño, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Bolívar, La Guajira, Magdalena, Antioquia y Bogotá.

Ante el contexto de privatización, la Red Nacional se avoca a la tarea de construir un proyecto de ley que denomina Ley Propia, mediante la cual exige el reconocimiento y protección de los derechos fundamentales y colectivos de las comunidades organizadas, que son defensoras de derechos humanos en cuanto autogarantizan el derecho fundamental al agua, así como los derechos de la naturaleza, los derechos de los ríos y manantiales, los derechos del agua.

–¿Cuál ha sido el papel de las mujeres en este proceso?

–Las mujeres han desempeñado y desempeñan un papel vital en la gestión comunitaria del agua, en el cuidado de la vida y han sido protagonistas en la dinámica de los acueductos comunitarios. Las mujeres son las mayores responsables de la gestión del agua a nivel doméstico y comunitario, sus responsabilidades a este respecto son 70% mayores que las asumidas por los hombres. Son ellas quienes soportan las peores consecuencias derivadas de los problemas ambientales asociados con el agua, al significar más horas de trabajo diario, menos ingresos, mayores problemas de nutrición y seguridad alimentaria.

Las contribuciones de las mujeres en la gestión comunitaria del agua, han representado una valiosa oportunidad para fortalecerlas como sujetas sociales y políticas, al tener mayor capacidad de generar procesos más justos y equitativos en el acceso, uso y gestión del agua, al interior de sus comunidades.

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