Global Goal 6: 'Water is a human right'

by | Sep 15, 2015 | Blogs

At the end of September this year, 193 world leaders will commit to the 17 proposed Global Goals, helping to shape development and change for the next 15 years, and work to make a better future. For all.

We here at End Water Poverty are delighted that we were included in the recent series on the Global Goals published by the Huffington Post. As part of their commitment to solutions-orientated journalism, they launched a blog series entitled ‘What’s Working: Sustainable Development Goals’ aimed at examining successes in the field, and how we can work to ensure the success of the Global Goals. We featured as one of the contributors highlighting Goal 6: ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and joined other EWP members and leading WASH organisations, including and WaterAid amongst others. Our blog spoke to the critical need for empowered communities and civil society in achieving change; please read an excerpt of our Global Goals blog below.

‘Water is a human right’

Authored by Megan MacGarry, End Water Poverty, Campaigns and Communications Officer

Water is critical for all aspects of life. Without clean and safe water, people are trapped in poverty; children are kept from school, people are denied living healthy lives, and vulnerability to diseases and even death greatly increase. By improving access to water and sanitation, we will achieve a better future for all. This has to be the highest priority. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), coming to an end this year, were far from perfect, but helped set a global agenda to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. Over the past 15 years, some significant progress was made, particularly for increasing access to water. The importance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) also has been recognized at the highest levels. The United Nations recognized the human right to water and sanitation in 2010. This international binding commitment set standards and principles for access; demanding that water be safe, affordable and accessible, and sanitation secure and hygienic. This was a critical step forward in the fight to end the water and sanitation crisis — it gives citizens a legal commitment they can hold governments accountable to realize this essential human right.

… The post-2015 development framework must be implemented, as it states, “For the people, by the people.” The Global Goals set a very ambitious agenda, meaning we need to be bolder and work together more effectively. The danger is, after much effort has gone into agreeing on the goals, and given their 15-year timeframe, that energy will drop for next few years, as happened with the MDGs. Early implementation needs to be prioritized, and international commitments translated into practical action at national and local levels. We need to hit the ground running on WASH, not least to enable later gains on other goals that can’t be achieved without progress on WASH.

To do this, we need to work together. By working in partnerships, such as the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, across all sectors, with a range of stakeholders, we can maximize our impact, and ensure a loud and sustained global demand for universal access to sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene for all. By having a strong united voice, we can ensure that the promises of today result in a better future. Together we can end the water and sanitation crisis.

To read the full blog post, visit the Huffington Post website!

For all other contributors posts on Goal 6, please visit the following links:

* Jan Eiliasson: Deputy Secretary General, UN * Jack Sim: Founder, World Toilet Day
* Matt Damon, actor/activist, AND Gary White, CEO
* Henk Ovink: Special Envoy on International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands
* Chris Williams: Director, Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
* Barbara Frost: CEO,
* Alex Eaton: Director of Sustainability, Charity Water * Junaid Ahmad: Senior Director, Water, World Bank Group * Karin Krchnak: Freshwater expert, WWFUS * Jordan Teague: Associate Director, WASH Advocates
* Justin Brookes: Professor, Water Research Centre at the Environment Institute (Australia) * Megan MacGarry, Campaigns and Communications Officer, End Water Poverty * Neil Jeffery: CEO, WSUP
* Peter Chasse: President/Founder, The Water Project * David Sabatini: