In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as the first World Water Day. Since then every 22 March is marked as a day to celebrate water, make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues as well as prepare for how water will be managed in the future. The theme for 2015’s world water day was Water and Sustainable Development. In his speech in last year’s World Water Day, Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon stated,"To address the many challenges related to water, we must work in a spirit of urgent cooperation, open to new ideas and innovation, and prepared to share the solutions that we all need for a sustainable future."
22 March each year is therefore a platform where attention can be focused on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Water is at the core of sustainable development. Water resources, and the range of services they provide, underpin poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability.
It is under this background that KEWASNET participates in this year’s 2016 World Water Day whose theme is, “WATER AND JOBS”.
In partnership with the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP), KEWASNET seeks to advocate on the need of multi-stakeholder action to address business water-related risks which will affect future employment opportunities if unaddressed during the World Water Day. This will be done by bringing together private sector and civil society organisations (CSOs) to raise awareness on corporate water stewardship and the need to engage CSOs and government to ensure sustained impacts on the projects. KEWASNET will also support the Ministry of Water and Irrigation event which will be held in Naivasha. Stakeholders in the water sector from private sector, civil society organizations (CSOs), government and development partners need to work together to address the water crisis thus ensuring sustained social and economic development.
As an activity, KEWASNET in partnership with Kisumu County Government(Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources), GIZ-IWaSP, Umande Trust , SUSWATCH Kenya, KIWASCO, NEMA, WRMA agreed to undertake several Activities during the World Water day all geared towards restoring Auji River in Kisumu County. Main activities of the day will be Auji River clean up and Tree Planting.
Auji River is a perennial stream whose origin in kajulu hills. It flows downstream, traversing Kisumu East Constituency through the expansive Manyatta and Nyalenda informal settlements into Lake Victoria. The stream consist a constructed water concrete channel to provide easy flow and reduce erosion.
The stream like many urban water bodies is exposed to a myriad of challenges occasioned by urban dynamics of the urban environment such as human encroachment, pollution and various forms of degradation.
Originally posted on KEWASNET's website on 14 March 2016.