Tag Archives: World Water Day

Wikipedia – World Water Day

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.[1] The day also focuses on advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.[2] 

World water day

A World Water Day celebration in Kenya in 2010

World Water Day is supported by stakeholders across the globe. Many organizations promote clean water for people and sustainable aquatic habitats. Events such as theatrical and musical celebrations, educational events, and campaigns to raise money for access to clean and affordable water are held worldwide on or close to 22 March.[3]

UN-Water selects a theme for each year.[4] Previous themes included: ‘Why waste water?’ (a play on words with ‘Why wastewater?’) in 2017, ‘Water and Jobs’ in 2016, and ‘Water and Sustainable Development’ in 2015.

The first International World Water Day, designated by the United Nations, was commemorated in 1993.[5]

Read the complete article on Wikipedia.

BRAC WASH offers to help half a million Indian imams promote hygiene

On WaterCouch.tv, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp shares a practical example of international water cooperation that emerged during the 2013 World Water Day celebrations in The Hague, The Netherlands. In one of the sessions, BRAC WASH programme director Dr Babar Kabir explained that his programme had trained 18,000 imams in Bangladesh to include hygiene messages in their Friday prayers (see Kabir, 2010).

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi

Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi

Also present in The Hague was Iman Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of the All India Organization of Imams of Mosques, “the largest and oldest imam organization of the world”.  Dr Kabir and the Chief Imam “agreed to cooperate on education for water and sanitation”. This cooperation has the potential to create “five hundred thousand new teachers” to spread hygiene messages all over India.

Kabir, B. et al., 2010. The role of imams and different institution[s] in hygiene promotion of BRAC WASH programme : paper presented at the South Asia Hygiene Practitioners Workshop, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1 to 4 February 2010.  The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. Available at: http://www.ircwash.org/resources/role-imams-and-different-institution-hygiene-promotion-brac-wash-programme-paper-presented 

WASH training for imams in Bangladesh. Photo: Masjid Council

WASH training for imams in Bangladesh. Photo: Masjid Council

Sarah Bramley – Education and WASH sectors find new synergies on World Water Day

by Sarah Bramley, WASHplus Project, CARE

Photo credit: PATH

On World Water Day, a day on which people around the world joined together to recognize the importance of safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene education (WASH), I spent the morning thinking about the number of children who do not have access to these basic necessities at school. Therese Dooley, Senior WASH Advisor for UNICEF once said, “Currently, investment [in schools] can be quite low, and sometimes WASH in schools falls between the cracks…we just need to make sure there is funding allocated and that it does get priority.”[1]

Addressing improvements to water and sanitation in schools has been elevated on the global stage in the last several years. However, more often than not, theseconversations have been missing a key component: key stakeholders in the education sector. The creation of silos between WASH and education has been occurring for years due to funding. All too often grants are awarded with so many guidelines they can only be used for either improvements in WASH or for educational development, which make program collaboration difficult. There are often stipulations that educational funding can’t be used to improve water and sanitation services at school.

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Free access to over 100 research articles on water – offer ends 23 April 2010

In support of World Water Day 2010, publisher Routledge is offering free access to over 100 research articles related to sustaining healthy ecosystems, increasing water quality, access to clean water and contemporary challenges in water management. These articles are available free until the 23rd April 2010.

Journal titles include: Water International, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Development in Practice, Hydrological Sciences Journal, Third World Quarterly, Environmental Politics, Gender & Development (special issue on Water), Knowledge Management for Development Journal (special issue on Learning for the Water Sector) and International Journal on Environmental Studies (special issue on Greywater)

See the full listing.

Renowned musician from Nepal releases sanitation song

Ani Choying Drolma

A famous female musician from Nepal has released a sanitation campaign song on World Water Day 2010.

Ani Choying Drolma (1971) is a Buddhist nun and musician well known for her rendition of Tibetan Buddhist chants and feast songs. With the proceeds of her concerts and CDs she established the Nuns’ Welfare Foundation, which helps educate young girls in Nepal. Read an article about her by Keri Douglas in Ode.

In 2006, with support from Water for the World, Germany, Ani Choying built a water reservoir to improve the lives of the women of Seti Devi village in Nepal.

Listen to Ani Choying’s sanitation song here. The lyrcis are by Durga Lal Shrestha and Nhyu Bajracharya wrote the music.

Brussels sets world record for longest toilet queue

A world record for the length of a toilet queue was set Sunday when 756 people, including Belgium’s former tennis champion and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Justine Henin, lined up for a latrine in central Brussels to raise awareness for the need for clean water on World Water Day [ 22 March 2009]. The event was organised by the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF. “The latrine was of the same design as we use in third world countries — a dry latrine — and we formed the longest queue this morning,” UNICEF spokesman Benoit Melebeck said. “The Guinness Book of Records told us we needed to get at least 500 people in the queue to get the record,” he said.

Source: Jan Strupczewski, Reuters, 23 Mar 2009

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Justine Henin. Photo: REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Justine Henin. Photo: REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

Bhutan: International Sanitation Day observed

On 12 April students from the capital Thimphu performed dances and skits with the theme “Sanitation Matters” to observe International Sanitation Day/World Water Day. Even though water and sanitation are government priorities and coverage levels have increased, water-related diseases are still among the leading causes of child mortality in Bhutan. The World Food Programme (WFP) is channeling funds to UNICEF for school sanitation. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation plans to implement a Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme.

Read more: Source South Asia, 1 May 2008

Nepal: PM receives 100,000 signatures from sanitation campaign

On World Water Day, 22 March 2008, more than 100 thousand signatures collected from 35 districts of the country were handed over Nepal’s Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala calling for increased funding and a national master plan for sanitation. The signatures were submitted by representatives of WaterAid Nepal, Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH), NGO Forum for Urban Water & Sanitation, Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Users’ Nepal, Lumanti Support Group for Shelter and Guthi campaign. The signature campaign was coordinated by the End Water Poverty Campaign secretariat.

PM Koirala said he committed to take necessary steps immediately if concrete suggestions are presented before him for the improvement of sanitation.

Sources: NGO Forum, 24 Mar 2008 ; The Rising Nepal / NGO Forum, 14 Mar 200

End Water Poverty writes an open letter to UK Prime Minister

To mark World Water Day, members of the End Water Poverty coalition published an open letter in The Times newspaper to the UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, calling on his government to commit to making 2008 the year to change the lives of billions of people in the developing world.

Read the open letter here

Asia: Sanitation Experts Call For All-Out Efforts

BANGKOK, Mar 20 (IPS) – New technology, religion and the market must be harnessed to secure basic toilet facilities for Asia’s rural and urban poor, sanitation experts from the region said here Thursday.

Currently, over 2.6 billion people across the world have no access to an organised system of toilets, of which some 1.5 billion people live in the Asia-Pacific region, states Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), a regional U.N. body based in Bangkok, which hosted a conference on sanitation.

And every year, over 200 million tonnes of human waste go uncollected and untreated globally, adds ECSAP. This not only fouls the environment and spreads diseases, but forces the people with no access to toilets to ‘’live in deeper poverty and indignity.’’

‘’If you want to solve the problem, you have to talk about the appropriate technology that works,’’ said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of India’s Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, in a keynote address. ‘’In many developing countries, due to lack of affordable sanitation technology, sanitation coverage was far below the level of satisfaction.’’