On World Water Day, UNICEF calls for Cooperation to achieve sustainable water and sanitation services
KHARTOUM, March 22 - International World Water Day is held annually today as a means of focusing attention on the importance of safe water and advocating for the sustainable management of safe water resources.
According to the Sudan Household Health Survey 2010, out of the 34 million people in Sudan, 13.4 million and 24.8 million do not have access to improved water supply and sanitation services respectively.Cooperation is crucial not only to ensure the sustainable and equitable use of water and sanitation services but also for peace building at all levels. Experience has shown that proper water management and drinking water supply and sanitation services can help overcome tensions, build trust and promote peace.
According to the Sudan Household Health Survey 2010, out of the 34 million people in Sudan, 13.4 million and 24.8 million do not have access to improved water supply and sanitation services respectively. Studies have also shown that diarrhea, a consequence of unsafe water and poor sanitation is the second highest cause of child deaths globally as well as in Sudan. Unsafe water and poor sanitation and hygiene affect children first, and worst. It has a devastating impact on every aspect of a child’s life, from survival and development to education. Although these deaths have come down significantly over the last decade, from 1.2 million per year in 2000 to about 760,000 a year in 2011, UNICEF says that it is still too many.
This year the global theme for WWD is “Water Cooperation.” In Sudan, in line with this theme, the Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Unit under Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity, in discussion with UNICEF and other WASH sector partners, have selected the theme: “Sector partners cooperate /coordinate for sustainable water & sanitation.” It is to highlight the challenges and opportunities to improve sustainable water and sanitation services both for urban and rural areas as well as in emergencies.
The Community Action Plan (CAP) has been a key strategy to make communities as the center in leading sanitation and hygiene promotion, and managing water in a sustainable manner. The WASH programme succeeded to make schools and health centers as entry points for WASH interventions and ensure that water, hygiene and sanitation are presented as one package. Comprehensive efforts are needed by all stake-holders including policy makers, civil society, and media to scaling up sustainable water and sanitation services.
WWD events around the country will include: carnival walks, school events focusing on water and sanitation, the distribution of informational materials on the sector, and media and social media hits. On the occasion of World Water Day, UNICEF is calling all stake-holders - including policy makers, civil society, and media -to invest more on sustainable solutions, to strength coordination and to build the capacity of the sector to sustain water and sanitation services in Sudan.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information please contact:
Othniel Habila, Chief of Water and Environmental Sanitation Section, UNICEF Sudan
Mobile number: +249 (0) 912 390 648