World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22nd March as a means of drawing attention to the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of water resources. It is coordinated by UN-Water, a UN collaborative mechanism for drinking water issues involving governments and others entities.
This year’s rallying cry is ‘Leaving no one behind’, which is an adaptation of the central promise of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development: everyone must benefit from the progress of sustainable development and to “endeavour to reach the furthest behind first”.
One of main objectives of Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation), is to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. According to the UN, millions of people currently still live without access to safe drinking water - at home, at school, the workplace, or factory - and struggle to survive. Marginalized groups are often forgotten: women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities and many others. Moreover, they are discriminated against when they try to get and manage the clean water they need.
- 1 in 5 primary schools has no sanitation facilities, according to UNICEF.
- More than 700 children under the age of five die every day from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water or poor sanitation.
- By 2040, almost 600 million children, 1 in 4 in the world, will live with water scarcity.
- Women and girls across the world spend 200 million hours each day fetching water.
- Safe water and proper hygiene are key to preventing thousands of deaths each year.
"To leave no one behind, we must concentrate our efforts on including people who have been marginalized or ignored. Water services must meet the needs of marginalized groups and their voices must be taken into account in decision-making processes,” states the UN.