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World Water Day 2011 (22 March)

Media Advisory

 

WHAT: 

International World Water Day is held annually as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.UNICEF and the European Union will mark World Water Day in Iraq with celebrations in 23 schools across Iraq. 11,000 primary school children will join UNICEF in calling for more investments in water infrastructure, the conservation of water resources and keeping these resources free from pollution.

 

Six schools in Baghdad and one in each of the other 17 governoratesare celebrating World Water Day by holding events where children will learn about the importance of water conservation and the effect of pollution on water. With support from the European Union, UNICEF will be distributing awareness materials (t-shirts, posters, stickers, etc.) in schools. In addition, a three-day TV campaign has been launched to raise awareness on water conservation.

 

WHY: 

This year, International World Water Day calls attention to the impact of urbanization and the uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems.

In Iraq, three decades of war, armed conflict, sanctions and neglect of infrastructure – combined with limited environmental awareness – have undermined Iraq’s water resource management system, which has seriously affected effective water conservation. Improvements in the management of the country’s water resources, including at the household level, will have a profound effect on Iraq’s efforts to reduce poverty and hunger (Millennium Development Goal1), child mortality (MDG 4) and ensure environmental sustainability (MDG 7).  Key facts on water conservation include:

  • 50% of water produced is lost due to seepage, leakage and wastage due to system inefficiencies and domestic wastage.
  • An international report recently warned that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers could completely dry up by 2040 because of the compounded effect of climate change, reduced upstream supply and increase in domestic and industrial use.
  • One in five or around 6 million Iraqis do not have access to safe water, of which the vast majority are in rural areas.

WHEN: 

Date: 22 March 2011. (TV campaign starts on 20th)

 

WHO: 

International World Water Day is endorsed by The Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, and a number of UN agencies including UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHABITAT, UNDP and others.

 

WHERE: 

On information where events will be taking place please contact:

Salam Abdulmunem. Email: sabulmunem@unicef.org. Tel:07809126782.

 

 
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