© 2001–2003, 2002 WHO, implemented by IRC
Water and health advocacy: A practical guide for World Water Day 2001
Water is one of the earth's most precious and threatened resources. Health is one of each person's most precious resources. We need to protect and enhance them both.
Water for Health
World Water Day is held on 22 March each year. This was designated by the United Nations General Assembly, as a result of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Rio Summit, held in 1992. The theme for 2001 is Water and Health.
Water is a basic requirement for life and health. Around the world over a billion children, women and men lack access to adequate and safe water to meet their most basic need. Water and health are intimately related in every way. Every decision we make is practically linked to water and its consequences on health.
22 March 2001 marks a key date for mobilising political will and encouraging society involvement in promoting water and health related initiatives across the world. The theme, ‘Water and Health’, is a call to reach out beyond the community and to link with world wide efforts by international agencies, multi-lateral corporations, NGO's, governments and the community at large. It is an opportunity to capitalize on people's energies and commitment and to achieve a common goal—in this case to bring global and local attention and galvanise action so that every person on this planet has the water they need for health.
Governments, decision makers and donor agencies are essential to continued progress for better water management and better health—which is why we need to direct our energies to effective advocacy. This is especially important for developing countries: but water is a valuable and under-appreciated health resource everywhere. Without basic funding and policy changes, on the world water front, countries risk ‘going under’. We should all be protecting our waters for a healthier tomorrow.
World Water Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about improving water and health and preventing disease. Only when people become aware of how it affects us can true social mobilisation and advocacy begin.
Users of this guide are encouraged to bear in mind that effective advocates often recycle successful ideas from others. They creatively adapt and apply them to their own situation and campaigns.
Water and health advocacy: A practical guide for World Water Day 2001:
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