World Water Day Celebrations-22/3/2015
With over 4000 sanitation systems constructed in the city of Gwalior alone, 22nd March 2015 was celebrated as the world water day by Sambhav in 5 of the select star slums of Sambhav Hygiene and Sanitation Program jointly supported by Manaveeya. These slums were Laxmanpura, Motijheel, Awadpura, Girwai and Tikonia. A series of activities were organized in an entire week recognized as world water week. These included film shows, meetings, wall writing and distribution of sanitation IEC kits. Mr.Nabil from Sambhav participated in these activities and interacted with the community on the importance of water conservation and safe drinking water in a scenario where water level in the urban parts of the city if falling by the years. Several examples of water conservation such as rain water harvesting, soak pits, ground water recharge, kitchen gardens were shared with women groups. Deepak Johari shared the importance of water quality testing that is a service provided at a very nominal cost by the government, and that communities should try and collectively avail this service through approaching the municipal corporators responsible for their ward, or through smal collection within the slum. A timely check on water quality check of a source within a community can greatly contribute in alarming the people before hand whether the water is drinkable or hazardous for health. Hanim and Gaffar played a vital role throughout the process by acting as a community mobilizor and explaining the importance of community action on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
Understanding the World Water Day
World Water Day has been observed on 22 March since 1993 when the United Nations General Assembly declared 22 March as World Day for Water.
This day was first formally proposed in Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Observance began in 1993 and has grown significantly ever since; for the general public to show support, it is encouraged for the public to not use their taps throughout the whole day, the day has become a popular Facebook trend.
The UN and its member nations devote this day to implementing UN recommendations and promoting concrete activities within their countries regarding the world’s water resources. Each year, one of various UN agencies involved in water issues takes the lead in promoting and coordinating international activities for World Water Day. Since its inception in 2003, UN-Water has been responsible for selecting the theme, messages and lead UN agency for the World Day for Water.
In addition to the UN member states, a number of NGOs promoting clean water and sustainable aquatic habitats have used World Day for Water as a time to focus public attention on the critical water issues of our era. Every three years since 1997, for instance, the World Water Council has drawn thousands to participate in its World Water Forum during the week of World Day for Water. Participating agencies and NGOs have highlighted issues such as a billion people being without access to safe water for drinking and the role of gender in family access to safe water. In 2003, 2006 and 2009, the UN World Water Development Report was launched on the occasion of the World Water Day. The fourth Report is expected to be released around 22 March 2012.