Today is World Water Day!
World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on March 22. The essence is to celebrate water, show the importance of water on the globe and of course focus attention on the importance of freshwater.
Each year, World Water Day is celebrated with an annual theme. 2016’s is : Water and Jobs (“Better water, better jobs”) – This theme is meant to show the correlations between water and jobs created either directly or indirectly by water sources on the world.
According to wikipedia.org, World_Water_DayWorld Water Day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. In 1993, the first World Water Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly and since, each year focuses on a different issue.
The UN and its member nations usually devote this day to implementing UN recommendations and promote concrete activities within their countries regarding the world’s water resources.In the same vein, a number of nongovernmental organizations promoting clean water and sustainable aquatic habitats have used World Water Day as a time to focus attention on the critical issues of our era.
Events such as theatrical and musical celebrations, educational events, and campaigns to raise money for access to clean and affordable water are usually held worldwide on a day like this or on convenient dates close to March 22.
In a similar vein, a United Nations campaign to raise awareness about water scarcity and safety issues around the world has continued to be a major part of United Nations project.
Well, how can we understand or fathom this irony? While water covers almost three-fourths of the Earth’s surface, it makes up a small portion of the global conversation and billions of so people are still looking for water to drink
To celebrate water’s big day, here are some facts about access to water around the globe, courtesy of Water.org:
1. 1.8 billion people around the world lack access to safe water.
2. Globally, a third of all schools lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
3. In low- and middle-income countries, a third of all healthcare facilities lack a safe water source.
4. The World Economic Forum in January 2015 ranked the water crisis as the No. 1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation).
5. The incidence of children suffering from stunting and chronic malnutrition — at least 160 million — is linked to water and sanitation.
6. More than 840,000 people die from a water-related disease each year, including diarrhea caused by bad drinking water, hygiene and sanitation.
7. Eighty-two percent of people who don’t have access to “improved” water live in rural areas.
8. More than one-third of people worldwide lack access to a toilet, more than the number of people who have a mobile phone.
9. Women and children spend 125 million hours collecting fresh water every day. Individual women and children spend as many as six hours collecting fresh water daily.
10. Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.
11. Universal access to safe water and sanitation would result in $18.5 billion in economic benefits each year from deaths avoided alone, a return of $4 for every dollar spent on safe water access.
12. The amount of safe water could drop by 40 percent in 15 years if people do not change the way they use water.
To mark World Water Day (22 March 2016), humanitarian aid and global child right’s charity Plan UK have produced ten interesting facts about water.
10 FACTS ABOUT WATER
- 663 million people don’t have access to safe drinkable water – that’s one in every nine people.
- The average American uses 80-100 gallons of water a day, 10 times more water than the average person in a rural community in sub-Saharan Africa.
- A one-minute shower with a conventional showerhead uses more water (at least 5 gallons) than most people in sub-Saharan Africa use in an entire day for basic drinking and hygiene purposes (average: 2-5 gallons).
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 5 gallons of water is sufficient for very basic drinking, cooking, and hand washing needs in a developing country, but other common tasks that require larger volumes of water such as bathing or laundry are difficult to achieve with only 5 gallons.
- In Africa and Asia, women and girls walk an average of 6km a day carrying water that weighs more than 40lbs. Imagine that. It’s equivalent to carrying two cases of soda, or a 40” flat screen television for more than 3.5 miles.
- Each day people – mostly women and girls – spend 125 million hours collecting water. With safe access to clean water, those hours could instead be spent in a classroom, on income generation, or having fun.
- 66 children die from diarrhoea every hour; access to clean water reduces this risk significantly.
- When schools have water and sanitation facilities, attendance rates increase, especially for girls. Unfortunately, globally one third of all schools lack access to sanitation and drinkable water.
- 160 million children suffer from stunting and malnutrition, which has lifelong impacts on their health, education, and economic potential; 50 percent of malnutrition is linked to lack of clean water and sanitation.
- 2.6 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water since 1990.