Nepal World Water Day 2019: The Journey to More Sustainability

In low- and middle-income countries, 38% of health care facilities lack an improved water source
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Nepal World Water Day 2019: The Journey to More Sustainability

“Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right.”

The world celebrates ‘World Water Day’ on March 22, 2019. Today, the scarcity of water is our biggest challenge. Some world countries have already run out of their water reserves, putting at risk their people, the wildlife, environment and a lot more.

In the present context, around 4 billion people, i.e., nearly two-thirds of the world population experience severe water scarcity at least one month during the year.

The following statistics are eye-openers to the reality we are part of:

  • 1 billion people live without safe water at home
  • One in four primary schools have no drinking water service with students consuming unprotected water or remaining thirsty
  • Globally, 80 percent of the people who have to use unsafe and unprotected water sources live in rural areas
  • 844 million people lack even a basic drinking water service, including 159 million people who are dependent on surface water
  • Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces
  • By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in the water-stressed area
  • In low- and middle-income countries, 38% of health care facilities lack an improved water source, 19% do not have improved sanitation, and 35% lack water and soap for handwashing
  • Women and girls are responsible for water collection in eight out of ten households with water-off premises
  • For the 68.5 million people who have been forced to leave their homes, accessing safe drinking water is very difficult

World Water Day – Background & Future

The global awareness day was first observed in 1993 after the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December 1992. It was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development of Rio de Janeiro.

This year World Water Day 2019 is being celebrated with the theme ‘Leaving no one behind’ by identifying and addressing reasons as to why so many people are being left behind. The focus is on marginalized people such as women, children, refugees, indigenous people and diseased people, who are often overlooked and face discrimination while trying to access safe drinking water.

World Water Day 2019 Statistics

Source: WHO and UNICEF

UN Water emphasizes that the water services must meet the needs of marginalized groups and they should be involved in decision-making related to the water crisis.

The theme for World Water Day 2019 is a central focus of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.

Furthermore, Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to ensure the availability of water to everyone and practice sustainable management by 2030.

So what are the main reasons people fail to get access to water?

Discrimination is one major cause for this scenario and the following form the basis:

  • Sex and gender
  • Race, ethnicity, religion, birth, caste, language and nationality
  • Disability, age and health issues
  • Property, tenure, residence, economic and social status
  • Climate change, conflict, environmental degradation, forced displacement, population growth and migration flows

Many developing countries are facing water shortage, where discrimination is prevalent more than ever. Nepal is one among them.

Nepal Observes World Water Day 2019

Even though the country is making major progress with various development aspects, access to safe drinking water remains one of its biggest challenges.

Nepal has been making several efforts to address this situation and the below drive is a step towards ensuring the availability of water to everyone.

This year Nepal decided to combine activities for World Water Day and World Meteorological Day, celebrated on March 22nd and 23rd, every year.

The Himalayan nation has organized week-long programs and activities under the theme – Nepal National Water and Weather Week (NNWWW).

This initiative is being taken up by Nepal Government’s Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS) and the Nepal Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) with the aim to unite all the stakeholders to create awareness on the persisting issues of water and weather.

The joint initiative will also be supported by a group of individuals from governmental and non-governmental agencies, private sectors, educational institutions and youth-led organizations.

Following is the schedule for the week-long World Water Day 2019 activities in Nepal that began on March 17, 2019:

  • March 17, 2019 – Inauguration of the NNWWW 2019 – Bicycle Rally & Walkathon
  • March 18, 2019 – National Symposium on Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Management of Groundwater Resources of Nepal
  • March 19, 2019 – National Water Café – A media interaction on climate change and water resources
  • March 21, 2019 – Graduate Conference on Water
  • March 22, 2019 – Thematic workshop celebrating World Water Day
  • March 23, 2019 – Thematic workshop celebrating World Meteorological Day

So how do we address water crisis?

It is important to ensure marginalized sections get easy access to water resources for which, governments and key stakeholders should create regulatory and legal frameworks. Moreover, sufficient funds should be allocated to realize this goal.

How do we contribute to this movement?

  • Identify reasons obstructing water access to marginalized sections
  • Build communities to share ideas and fill the existing gaps

Saving Water for future is in our Hands - World Water Day 2019

Let’s create a safer ecosystem for all!

March 23, 2019 |

 
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