Governments urged to take decision to safeguard water bodies

Stockholm (SWE)- The World Water Week (WWW) has opened in Stockholm, Sweden with a call on national governments to take urgent decisions backed by financing commitments and political will to address practices that threaten water bodies and people’s access to potable water.

Global speakers that addressed the opening ceremony in Stockholm on Monday also reiterated the need to promote disability-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems to ensure that all had access to the commodity to amongst others promote hygiene for all.

The WWW, an event of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), is an annual focal point for global water issues, and this year’s event, being held from August 25 to August 30.

It is being attended by about 3,000 world leaders, policy makers, academics and representatives from the private sector and civil society from about 130 countries to discuss issues of access to potable water.

The event, which is on theme: Water for Society: Including all, also showcases a number of programmes by public institutions and innovations by civil society and other actors in the water space to ensure clean water and WASH services as well as extend potable water to all, especially underserved communities.

The World Water Development Report, 2019 shows that over two billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water.

This presents them with many consequences, including contracting water-related diseases and disabilities, a situation, which further deepens their plight, hence the need for action on the part of national governments to reverse the trend.

Mr Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden, expressed the need for national governments to be more resolute than before in taking urgent decisions to secure water for all.

He cited a number of practices, including industrial operations and human activities that threatened the survival and supply of potable water to all, and urged governments, to among others, build waste water treatment systems as well as implement targeted policies and investments in the water sector to ensure access to safe water.

Miss Safia Nalule Juuko, a Ugandan Member of Parliament and Founder of Human Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities, called on WASH sector actors to involve persons with disabilities (PwDs) during the design as well as implementation of their WASH policies to better address the needs of PwDs.

Dr Jackie King, 2019 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, and Honourary Professor at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, called for sustainable and responsible management of water resources to enhance access to safe water for all.

Source: Ghana News Agency