Water Resources Ministry commemorates World Water Day

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Minister of Water Resources making her speech

By Yusufu S. Bangura

With support from their partners, the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation has on Friday 22nd March commemorated the World Water Day with theme ‘Water for Peace’.

The ceremony took place at the Youyi Building car park in Freetown.

In his welcome address, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Water Resources, Brima Munda Sowa stated that the day was significant because water is a political commodity and it’s a catalyst as far as development is concerned.

He said water stands for peace and it cut across every aspect in human development. He further encouraged participants to continue sensitising their communities that water is key and that they should take it preciously.

Speaking on behalf of the partners, National Director, World Vision, Sagane Thiaw said in December 1992, the United Nations adopted a resolution to celebrate World Water Day on March 22nd every year, to increase awareness about the importance of water.

He said sinec then World Water Day has been observed annually by the United Nations,adding that the day’s purpose was to raise awareness about major water-related issues and inspire action to address the water and sanitation crisis.

Thiaw further said the focus of  World Water Day was to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 which aims to provide access to water and sanitation services for all by 2030.

The theme for World Water Day 2024 was “Water for Peace,” which highlights the critical role water plays in either fostering harmony or sparking conflict. In Sierra Leone, challenges in water services delivery, including water supply, management, and security, pose significant obstacles that are worsened by the impacts of climate change.

He continued that the impending water crisis threatens to escalate tensions and potentially lead to conflicts as communities struggle with acute water shortages, infringing on their fundamental human right to access safe drinking water and sanitation.

“Recognising the urgency of this situation is part of the reason why the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation has brought us all together on this World Water Day to raise awareness among the population about the importance of water conservation and equitable access to clean water. On this occasion, we come together to recognise the significance of this vital resource that sustains life on our planet. This day serves as a  reminder of the critical role water plays in our daily lives, ecosystems, and global sustainability efforts. It is a time to reflect on the challenges faced in ensuring access to clean and safe water for all individuals worldwide,” he said.

In her keynote address, Minister of Water Resources, Dr. Sao-Kpato Hannah Isatta Macarthy said the commemoration was to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            reflect on the indispensable role water plays in fostering peace and harmony among nations and communities.

She said with the theme water for peace, they acknowledged the pivotal connection between access to clean water and the promotion of world peace.

As a government, President Bio in his wisdom created and enhanced the mandate of the Ministry of Water Resources in June last year and in his  address to parliament, he highlight specifically the government’s intention to create the institutional and policy frameworks within which water and sanitation issues will be implemented in the country.

“Water is more than a basic necessity, it’s is a fundamental human rights and it knows no boundaries. It is a symbol of life, it nourishes ecosystems and cure economies, but yet billions of people still lack access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, perpetuating circles of poverty, leading to widespread suffering inequality and conflict. This is so because of the interconnectedness between water and key sectors that support life, education, health, agriculture, among others,” she said.

He said by addressing the root causes of water insecurity, and promoting dialogue and collaboration, they must mitigate tensions, build trust, cultivate shared responsibility for the planet’s most precious resource and forge pathways to peace and security.

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