The new US administration is working to take away protections to water and air quality and impose new policies that will harm our environment. Construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline — threatening the water supply on Native American lands — is near completion after President Trump rebooted plans put on hold by the previous administration. Just Tuesday, the President signed an executive order aimed at weakening a portion of the Clean Water Act that entrusts the federal government with protecting small water sources from pollution. Another order is expected later this week that would loosen controls on greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants.
These recent executive orders signal the administration’s desire to roll back policies that protect our environment and our health. But there is too much at stake; a clean environment is crucial to all of our health. Most affected will be the poor and indigenous people around the world who rely on public water sources, whose jobs expose them to health hazards, and whose homes are most vulnerable to environmental disasters made worse by climate change.
Hesperian resources can support people who are taking action to protect the environment. A Community Guide to Environmental Health was developed in partnership with 100 communities in 43 countries and fosters community leadership. It is available in 14 languages with 4 more translations in progress, making it an invaluable tool for people fighting for environmental health around the world. Hesperian also offers shorter e-books and printed pamphlets on specific environmental health issues in Pesticides are Poison, Water for Life, and Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment. Use the practical information in these resources to organize in your community to reduce contamination, improve sanitation, learn sustainable practices, and more.