The World Water Day 2019 is all about tackling global water crisis across households, workplaces, schools, and farms. The World Water Day Theme 2019 is ‘Leaving no one behind.’ Women, refugees, minorities, children, and disabled people have little access to water. This is against basic human rights. Every human being is entitled to safe water for personal sanitation, drinking, washing clothes, making food, as well as household hygiene.
The World Water Day Theme focuses on the reasons for many communities across the world getting left behind. This is an extension of the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to it, as sustainable development progresses, everyone must stand to benefit. Sustainable Development Goal No. 6 (or SDG 6) is aimed at ensuring the availability as well as sustainable management of this precious resource for all by the year 2030. This, by definition, means: leaving no one behind.
People around the world are bereft of something as basic as safe water at home. Safe water means water free from contamination and available easily. The world cannot prosper without access to safe water. Contaminated water leads to deadly diseases. People get left behind without safe water due to several reasons. There are ‘grounds for discrimination’ which lead to specific groups of people getting particularly disadvantaged as far as accessing water is concerned. Thus, the World Water Day Theme 2019. The grounds include the below:
1. Gender and Sex
2. Race, religion, ethnicity, birth, language, caste and nationality
3. Age, disability, and health
4. Property, social and economic status
5. Other factors include climate change, environmental degradation, population growth, conflicts, displacement. Migration can disproportionately affect particularly marginalized groups through the impact on water.
In order to adopt an all emcompassing and inclusive approach of human rights over water and the underpinning theme of ‘leave no one behind’, the society has to focus on including marginalized people. Water services therefore should meet the needs of such marginalized groups, that is the World Water Day Theme. Their voices must be heard as far as decision-making processes are concerned. Regulatory as well as legal frameworks need to recognize that the right to water for all people is absolute. Enough funding has to be targeted at those who are in need of it the most to make World Water Day Theme a success.
Image courtesy: Stonybrook Water