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World Water Day 2017: “Why waste Water?”

(Last Updated On: March 23, 2017)

 

By James Michael Igiri

 

The Federal Government has blamed the nation’s poor water supply on improper planning of

such schemes by state governments. The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu,

who spoke yesterday at a press conference in Abuja to celebrate the World Water Day,

maintained that it was the duty of states to provide portable water to consumers.

His words: “The laws of the land say the responsibility to provide portable water rests on the

state and local governments. What the Federal Government does is to render assistance from

time to time and provide good policy. The Federal Ministry of Water Resources does not own

a water board, buy chemicals or alum. It is usually done at the state level.”

To address the challenge, the minister hinted that government was ready to integrate

tunnelling into its national development needs. He noted that though the concept was not new

in the country, Adamu, however, submitted that government would embrace it as an integral

part of its development plans in future.

Meanwhile, to also mark the World Water Day, the United Nations (UN) charged nations to

work towards making more people have access to clean and safe water. In a goodwill

message, the global body noted that 1.8 billion people use contaminated water, thereby

putting them at the risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.

The UN in 2015 launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure everyone

has access to safe water by 2030 as part of efforts to eradicate extreme poverty, which

include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key

issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.

This year’s theme is: ‘Why waste Water?’-since its inception as a global celebration, UN-

Water selects a theme for each year. Previous themes include: 'Water and Jobs' (2016), 'Water

and Sustainable Development' (2015) and so on.

UN-Water coordinates plans and programmes for the day in consultation with UN member

organisations who share interest in that year's theme. For example, in 2016 when the theme

was "Water and Jobs," the water agency collaborated with the International Labour

Organisation.

Organisations active in the WASH sector, including non-governmental organisations such

as UNICEF and Water-Aid, use the day to raise public awareness, inspire action and

get media attention for water issues. Activities have included the production and

dissemination of publications or films, and the organisation of round tables, seminars,

expositions and other events.

End Water Poverty, a global civil society coalition with 250 partner organizations worldwide,

coordinates a calendar of global events to commemorate World Water Day, on the 22nd and

during the whole of March.

Each year on World Water Day, the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR), also

relating to the chosen annual theme, is released.

World Water Day has seen an increase in the quantity and quality of education initiatives

within schools and universities, to raise awareness of the importance of conserving and

managing water resources. For example, Primary school children in the

Philippines participated in a "My School Toilet" contest in 2010. This year Michigan State

University held a contest for "best World Water Day poster" this year.

In addition to school-based educational events, a variety of public events, such as seminars,

rallies and parades aim to bring people together for World Water Day. This include

educational displays on water-saving devices such as grey-water reuse systems or dry toilets,

as well as information about the lack of access to drinking water and water for agriculture

in developing countries.

The day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on

Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The United Nations (UN) designated 22

March as International World Water Day in 1992 at the same conference.

In 1993, the first World Water Day was designated by the United Nations General

Assembly and each year since then has focused on a different issue

World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on 22 March. The day focuses attention on

the importance of universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities

in developing countries. The day also focuses on advocating for the sustainable

management of freshwater resources.

Source: The Guardian