Blog post written by End Water Poverty International Coordinator, Al-Hassan Adam.
We started this year with some good buzz for our new international development agenda - the Sustainable Development Goals - particularly around Goal 6 on water and sanitation. In case you missed it, the UN and World Bank announced the creation of a High Level Panel on Water. Guess what? The presidents of Mauritius and Mexico will be co-chairing this group. The panel is expected to:
- Motivate action on public-policy dialogue, private-sector models and practices, and civil society initiatives.
- Advocate financing and implementation by promoting efforts to mobilise financial resources and scale up investment for the dedicated water goal, including through innovative financing and implementation strategies.
The recognition of the role of civil society will not happen automatically. Civil society will have to seize this opportunity by being proactive and constructive in putting forward its programme.
Water is slowing taking centre stage during international development discussions, in what is a very crowded space dominated by issues such as the war on terror, global economic crises and migration. Even though the Millennium Development Goals had made some significant progress in reducing the numbers of people without access to clean water, 663 million people still lack access to safe water. Those who currently are counted as having access sometimes are forced to go for days without safe water.
Recent events in the USA have shown that even developed countries are not immune from the challenges of delivering safe water to their citizens. Obama had to declare a state of emergency in Michigan over poisonous and poor water quality. This is a reminder that we do not have an idea about the level of poisonous and unwholesome substances that are in water sourced in polluted wells, ponds, dams and rivers that so many are forced to use.
To secure water for the 663 million people who are left behind, civil society will have to be more assertive and agile. We will need to be more collaborative and share resources, while at the same time, guard against spreading our scarce resources too thin.
Come March 2016, End Water Poverty is leading our annual mobilisation and advocacy campaign - Water Action Month - for everyone to unite together for a better future and to make some noise for water. This is in the spirit of World Water Day; which is celebrated on 22 March annually. Our members are so excited and passionate about World Water Day, that we decided to celebrate for a whole month to make people aware about these critical issues and to have a loud voice, calling for change. End Water Poverty has members who work across the globe, all united by our shared vision to end the water and sanitation crisis and to advocate for governments to keep their promises. Visit the Members’ page to find out more about where we work, and who we work with. Join up with organisations in your country to celebrate Water Action Month and show your support for a future which sees all people around the world able to access to safe water and basic sanitation.
We encourage everyone, everywhere to take action and join us! We will be publishing the activities and events taking place for Water Action Month on our website, and on this blog, so email us about your plans, and photos and videos of your action.
100% is possible. Together we can ensure a better future for all!