- Bimala Gurung, Program Officer, GUTHI
Water and sanitation is a fundamental human rights but the statement seems to be confined in the books as peoplecontinued to struggleto get adequate safe water. I am from Nepal and as much as I used to feel proud to say I come from the world’s second richest country in water resource while growing up, I now feel pain when I see people queuing up to collect water, seeingthem quarrel for a bucket of water, listening to the students complaining about the safe drinking water at their schools. I firmly believe safe water should be available for everyone and everywhere but in reality it is not.
This year, on the occasion of World Water Day, at GUTHI, a local non-profit organisation, we initiated a Water Campaign on 21stMarch 2017. GUTHI supported the Blood Donation Drive organised by Nepal Red Cross Society in partnership with Environment and Public Health Orgnisation (ENPHO) and WaterAid Nepal to disseminate the importance of safe water for better health.
GUTHI focused on interacting with the general public about the issues related to water and menstrual hygiene; seeking their suggestions to address the solution aspect. The campaign strives to ignite the WASH awareness of the people and contribute in our effort to collect voices on WASH issues. We intend to project the voices in formulation of the policy related to WASH.
On 22nd March, we observed“World Water Day, 2017” with our aspiring young leaders from Nepali Youth at GUTHI (NYG) volunteer members as a part of theWater Action Month.
Each drop of water matters in our life. However, water is wasted in many places, which we all should control as far as possible.Khem Raj Poudel rightly stated, “You have the power to take a short shower! Save Water.”Drops and drops of water should be conserved because it helps us to survive. Rainwater harvesting system can be an alternative for regular water supply. Similarly, wastewater should be treated, promoted and reused.
If we are going to be wasteful with water, one day it may cause the serious problems. So for the better environment, we should start to save water. We can not imagine our life without water. Drinking pure water is the fundamental rights of all human beings.Ensuring the quality water prevents the water borne diseases that ultimatelypromotes the healthy life and productivity.
Similarly, the WASH issues should be inclusively addressed. We need to promote women and marginalised communities leadership for sustaining WASH efforts. The new generation should be educated in order to keep source of water clean and safe. Safe water and quality water is every one’s need for health and healthy being.
We all are aware water is essential for every living organism. If we can not utilize it properly, we clearly do not have any right to contaminate it. Government should initiate water conservation. If we do not act now, then when are we going to; and if we do not initiate it then who will?Happily, with the support of my team and NYG members, we have decided to continue Water Campaign throughout the year. Only celebrating World Water Day for a day is not enough. It has to be and can be celebrated everyday. We hope to raise voices and contribute in enforcing water and sanitation as afundamental rights in the reality as well.