Development Dialogue

Development Dialogue is a language of contemporary discourses on human development which aims to stimulate each entity of the society for a new history of humanity. It stands for communicating the problems that people face and hence is more value-based than other units of human life. Envisioned with better quality of human life it admires the imagination of ordinary citizens, their daily concerns and necessities and circulate these elements in policy articulation.

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2013-the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation

 
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. As the  global demand for water rises fast, the objective of this International Year is to raise the awareness about the importance of water to human well-being and sustainable development.  

 
Water is the basic necessity to sustain life.  The accessibility and quality of water resources are fundamental to human health. However, today around 900 million people still lack access to clean water supplies.  Furthermore, as population grows, water as a resource will become scarcer in the future.  Many people around the world suffer not only from the scarcity of water, but also from diseases caused by unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation. More than 80% of diseases like diarrhea or dysentery are the result of contaminated water. Water-borne diseases is the second leading cause of child death.  

 
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7C states :”Halve the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation”.  Access to water and sanitation is also declared as  a human right. Securing the access to clean water is critical  in helping to achieve other MDGs on reducing the  poverty, achieving child and maternal health, reducing  child mortality. The adequate supply of clean water could stop the spread of dangerous water-borne diseases and significantly improve public health and human well-being.

 
Nepal is one of the Asian countries with the highest level of water resources. However, the country faces serious problems related to water management. Only 10% of the country’s groundwater potential is utilized and for many families the adequate supply of water is out of reach. Rural areas are often remote from water supplies and only 31 % of Nepal has sanitation coverage. According to government statistics, more than 4.4 million people in Nepal do not have regular access to safe drinking water.  The pollution of flowing streams with waste is also high. Furthermore, in some places arsenic occurs naturally in ground waters and causes a contamination problem. There is no simple solution for the problems mentioned above. The active involvement of international organizations, NGOs and the government are crucial for providing clean and safe water to the population. There are some NGOs working to provide safe water and improved sanitation in Nepal like  WaterAid,  the World Water Organization, Nepal Water for Health. However, still lots  should be done to ensure that all  people in Nepal and in many other regions of the world have access to safe water and water-related services.

 
In 2013 the  UN will organize a large  number of seminars, workshops and other events related to water education, water diplomacy, cooperation in providing safe and clean water. Hopefully, these messages will reach policy-makers and others in power. Providing adequate access to safe water is one of the most important development goals and it should be a priority for the governments and international organizations.  

 

Resources:

 Joint G8 Science Academies’ Statement on Water and Health,


 
Dr. Suresh Das Shreshtha, “Water Crisis in the Nepal Himalayas”






 

 

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