WORLD WATER DAY 2023: ACCELERATING CHANGE

Posted on 23 Mar, 2023 by Wolfgang H├╝tzen & Dijana Delic

World Water Day is a global observance held annually on 22 March to raise awareness about the importance of freshwater resources and the need for sustainable water management. The day was first observed by the United Nations in 1993, and since then, it has been celebrated worldwide as a way to highlight the vital role that water plays in our daily lives.

Water is essential to life, and yet, millions of people around the world still lack access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities. According to the UN, over two billion people lack access to safe drinking water, while 4.2 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation services. The lack of access to clean water and sanitation has serious health implications that can lead to the spread of water-borne diseases, causing millions of deaths every year.

What can be done to accelerate change to solve the water and sanitation crisis?
There are several things that need to be done to accelerate access to water and sanitation services. First and foremost, governments must prioritize investment in infrastructure to ensure that water and sanitation facilities are accessible to all people. This means not only building new infrastructure but also upgrading existing facilities to ensure they are functioning properly and meet modern standards. Secondly, there is a need for education and awareness campaigns to teach people about the importance of good hygiene practices and proper sanitation. Finally, it is imperative to enhance international cooperation and development projects to support efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) that promotes water and sanitation for all. These projects are essential in addressing the complex and interconnected issues that impact access to clean water and sanitation, including climate change, urbanization, and water scarcity. The German Development Cooperation, through its various agencies and initiatives, has made significant contributions to achieving SDG6. One of the key initiatives of the German Development Cooperation in this area is the Water Sector Reform Programme, which aims to improve access to clean water and sanitation in partner countries. The program focuses on strengthening water and sanitation institutions, building infrastructure, and improving the management of water resources.

GFA has played an important role in achieving SDG6 by providing technical assistance, supporting institutional reform, and building capacities worldwide to provide water and sanitation services. We are proud of our work and our contribution to the global effort to ensure that everyone has access to this essential human right. In the past 40 years, GFA supported the implementation of more than 150 projects in the field of water and sanitation.

With a deep understanding of the critical role that access to clean water and sanitation plays in achieving sustainable development, GFA has made significant contributions towards this goal. One of the ways that we at GFA contribute to achieving access to clean water and sanitation is by providing technical assistance and advisory services to governments and water utility companies. Through this work, we develop policies, strategies, and plans that promote sustainable water and sanitation management.
In addition to working closely with local communities, supporting the construction of simple water supply and sanitation infrastructure, we provide training and capacity building to local stakeholders, ensuring that the communities can manage and maintain the infrastructure effectively over the long term.

Achieving SDG6 remains a significant challenge, but progress is being made. Governments, civil society organizations, and international development partners must continue to work together to prioritize investment in water and sanitation infrastructure, improve education and awareness, and support development cooperation projects that address the complex and interconnected issues impacting access to clean water and sanitation. By doing so, we can ensure that everyone, regardless of where they live, has access to this fundamental human right. The world over, GFA continues to forge partnerships towards the achievement of SDG6.

Let's ignite the spark of change within ourselves, because as humans, we hold the power to make a difference. With unwavering determination, we are currently embarking on various water sector projects, channelling our efforts towards achieving SDG6. Let's keep pushing forward, knowing that every small action we take today can create a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.

> Learn more about our water & sanitation projects

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