Water Action Month
Water is an essential component of sustainable development, having a crucial role in human well-being, socio-economic growth and the health of the environment and ecosystems.
Agenda 2030 lays out a clear path and vision for a sustainable future, and has received unprecedented support across governments, civil society, businesses and citizens alike. Global challenges - ranging from climate change, water and food crises, to poverty, conflict and inequality - more than ever are in need of solutions that young people can deliver.
Photo: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba
Globally, ‘menstruation,’ vagina’ and ‘period’ are words and topics that are spoken about in whispers. This is often followed by a quick side glance to see who’s around before quickly letting a friend know about the pain you’re in or asking if someone has a spare pad. Most of us who menstruate have at some point put a pad or tampon up our sleeve on the walk to the office bathroom, afraid that someone might find out we are experiencing one of the most natural bodily processes.
Water issues are highly gendered. In most cultures, the responsibility of collecting water and maintaining its hygiene standards falls to women and girls and yet they are more likely to be affected by the water crisis due to both social and biological factors. Achieving universal and equitable access to water needs to address specific gender equality measures to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Photo: SEED Madagascar
Education is a right. Every single child should have access to quality education and learning opportunities. Education enables people to escape poverty and move toward a better future. With 262 million school-aged children out of school, global access to education is more crucial than ever. But this won´t be achieved without working towards water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access for all in parallel. After all, how can a constantly thirsty child keep their mind on classes?
Photo: End Water Poverty/Zambia's NGO WASH Forum/Kiana Alavi
March marks many important and international days of the year. From International Women’s Day (8th March) to the start of spring to World Water Day (22nd March). It is a symbolic time to turn a new leaf and take necessary actions that ensure the sustainable world governments promised in 2015 with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Within the development sector, we talk about reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 on a daily basis. What we often forget is that reaching these goals provides an equal, cleaner and more sustainable world for future generations. It is noticeable that youth groups and activists are extremely passionate and enthusiastic about reaching the SDGs and are regularly finding innovative and creative ways to reach these goals.
Our annual campaign, Water Action Month (WAM) has now begun! With international and regional events taking place (such as SACOSAN VII, the World Water Forum, the High Level Political Forum and Africa Water Week), 2018 is an important year for the WASH sector and with the help of WAM, we can make it even more impactful.
Water: one of our planet’s most finite resources, the most vital element for survival of life on Earth, and undeniably at the core of global development towards a healthier and more sustainable planet. Fortunately for the world, End Water Poverty members are hard at work towards achieving our common goal of ending the water and sanitation crisis for all. As members our 250-organisation-strong global civil society coalition, your time and dedication culminates each year in Water Action Month (WAM), with the 2017 WAM only 14 days away.
In my ten years of campaigning and advocating for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), we have never had such a unique political opportunity for change as we have had this year at the start of Agenda 2030; the start of the new development goals for the next 15 years. In the past few months, my colleagues and I at the End Water Poverty secretariat have been criss-crossing Africa, Europe, South Asia and Latin America to tap into the enthusiasm of our members at the beginning of this ambitious path to achieve a universally better future for all.