As the saying goes, “water is life.” We cannot even imagine a life without water. Water holds immense value. It means a lot to us, more than just to quench our thirst but it also plays a vital role in supporting economic, social and human development.
Every day, people use water in different ways, including for agriculture, recreation, cooking, sanitation etc.
World Water Day, is a United Nations designated day observed each year on March 22. The day is marked and celebrated to promote the responsible use of water and the need to manage its supplies sustainably.
It also brings attention to some environmental issues and provides us an opportunity to think about this issue because life on earth wouldn’t be nice without sufficient access to safe and reliable supply of water.
According to United Nations, the significance of this day is to raise awareness about freshwater, the important role it plays in socio-economic development. It is needed for safeguarding human health and livelihoods.
Every year, a theme is designated by the United Nations to give direction to the celebrations. This year’s theme focuses on “accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis”. This theme urges individuals, families, communities and countries to make commitment to change how they use and manage water.
The United Nations outlined some problems resulting from water and sanitation crises among which include; 32 per cent of the world’s population (2.4 billion) lacks basic sanitation facilities such as toilets or latrines. At least two billion people worldwide have to drink water contaminated with feces. Six hundred and seventy-three million people have no option but to defecate in the open (in street gutters, bushes or into open bodies of water).
However, the Sustainable Development Goals offer some solutions to these problems. We can accelerate change to solve water and sanitation crisis by ending open defecation, provide access to sanitation and hygiene reuse, improve water quality, wastewater treatment and safe reuse, implement integrated water resources management, and protect and restore water-related ecosystems.
Mary Oluwatosin Afolabi wrote from Maiduguri