Each year 22. March marks the World Water Day – a day which aims to draw attention to the importance of water and that fresh water resources are at the heart of sustainable development.
It is an indisputable fact that safe water contributes to improve social well-being, economic growth and protecting the environment, affecting the livelihoods of billions of people. This year’s theme for the World Water Day was wastewater – a resource flushed down the drain.
In a world where fresh water supplies are not a matter of course for everyone, improved management of these resources is critical. Living in Madagascar, we experience this challenge ourselves on a daily basis. Over half the population in Madagascar lives without access to safe water and over 21 million people have nowhere decent to go to the toilet. We make an effort to reduce our wastewater by purifying water for cooking, stocking water for sanitation and hygiene, as well as practice safe drinking water.
Today, 1.8 billion people around the world use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces. This increase the risk of cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Combined with poor hygiene practices, this undermines community health and well-being. This is also a challenge in our village Tsiroanomandidy. Therefore, to mark the World Water Day, the youth volunteers had a sensitization at a local school about the importance of proper handwashing and use of safe water. Building knowledge and changing behavior and practices lead to healthier communities and strengthened resilience. Water is an essential resource in this effort. So why waste it?