Wednesday, 22nd March was World water day, a day set side to spread awareness on the importance of saving water and providing water to communities without access to this natural commodity.
In addition to all that, South African President Jacob Zuma launched a United Nations plan to increase water provision and sanitation to 10 billion people by 2030.
As part of the UN’s high-level panel on water and sanitation, the President spoke at the World water day summit in Durban on the important role water plays in achieving sustainable development. He added that all members of the panel will join in a collaboration to adopt a political declaration on this agenda which will be made available to member states of African countries.
“Following this commitment, the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council called upon countries to give appropriate consideration to the importance of [the human right of] safe drinking water and sanitation and the principle of quality and non-discrimination. This is, therefore, one of the reasons why the high-level panel will today unveil the initiation on access to water and sanitation for 10 billion people,” he said.
Sanitation and Water minister, Nomvula Mokonyane read the joint panel’s joint statement for world water day which called on all people to conserve water, in order to prevent a future scarcity which could become our reality if current water practices are continued.
“If the world continues on its current path, projections suggest that the world may face a 40% shortfall in water availability by 2030, affecting at least 1.8 billion people,” the statement read.
The statement also made a call to action from all and sundry to have the “political will and commitment to tackle water challenges” at all levels.
The panel’s joint statement also gave credence to the everyone–government, private sector, civil society, and academics– who are working to ensure more access to clean water and sanitation while also ensuring that it is sustained.