Celebrating water for life - World Water Day

Celebrating water for life : the International Decade for Action 2005-2015 : World Day for Water 2005 22 March : an advocacy guide. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization. – 35 p. – 6 ref.

This booklet aims to communicate the purpose and aim of the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015. It introduces key issues relevant to water: the current challenges and situation, some facts and figures. The main areas covered are: water for health, biodiversity and environment, agriculture and energy. Cross-cutting issues are: a gender perspective on water and sanitation, and water and the MDGs. The booklet provides suggestions and recommendations of what can be achieved in the Decade. It includes sheets on the key steps in the planning process of water for life activities: collect information; develop key messages; work with the media; and assess impacts of efforts made. The booklet calls on organizations to transform their local or national statistics into key messages and stories that should support successes, identify gaps and set out the next steps in their Water for Life campaign.

The decade between 2005 and 2015 are critical years to focus global attention on what should be obvious: water for life. Apart from demonstrating your personal commitment to organizing events around World Water Day (WWD), it is going to be vital to make 2005 and leading up to 2015 remarkable years in ensuring that everyone is aware of the urgency of the goals to be achieved. Every event and every voice on every occasion will be vital in ensuring new energy and commitment to turning the tide on a situation we can no longer abide.

Each year more than 1 billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to resort to using potentially harmful sources of water. This perpetuates a silent humanitarian crisis that kills some 3900 children every day and thwarts progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The consequences of our collective failure to tackle this problem are the dimmed prospects for the billions of people locked in a cycle of poverty and disease.

he root of this underlying catastrophe lies in these plain, grim facts: 4 of every 10 people in the world do not have access to even a simple pit latrine and nearly 2 in 10 have no source of safe drinking-water. To help end this appalling state of affairs, the MDGs include a specific target (number 10) to cut in half, by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation. In addition, the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation recently recognized that integrated development and management of water resources are crucial to the success or failure of all the MDGs, as water is central to the livelihood systems of the poor.

The Water for Life Decade starts on World Water Day 2005, 22 March; it is a unique occasion not just to highlight the magnitude of the problem, but also to bring all stakeholders together to apply solutions that work. Whatever kind of events you decide to organize, we hope this will help you leverage the maximum impact, however modest your budget.

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