The United Nations has recognized the importance of water as a prerequisite to sustainable development. Unlike in the MDG where water and sanitation was categorized/hidden under goal #7 (Environmental Sustainability), the recently adopted SDGs have recognized “Clean Water and Sanitation” as a unique goal, which needs to stand on its own. Goal #6 of the SDGs aims to make clean water and sanitation available to all by 2030. It is however, imperative to note that without achieving this goal #6 (‘water goal’) every other goal is unachievable. If in doubt, think about these:
Clean Water is quality education. Access to clean water means our children will be in school instead of walking long distances in search of potable water. Our young girls will also be in school without fear of stigmatization during their menstrual cycle because there is no water in schools.
Clean Water is gender equality. It does not differentiate between a boy and a girl; it does not distinguish a man from a woman; everyone has the right to use it and it does not treat a boy differently from a girl. Clean Water is social inclusion. It does not differentiate one culture from another. Clean Water reduces inequality.
Water is renewable energy. Hydropower is energy from water. It is renewable. With hydropower, we can reduce our overdependence on fossil fuels as energy source. Our cities are sustainable with proper water use.
Clean Water creates good job and enhance economic growth. With clean water, anglers have a good source of livelihood. Water creates the path for export and import. It enhances multilateral trade and fosters relationship between countries.
Clean Water is Climate Friendly. It does not add to global warming. Clean water does not release greenhouse gases. Water gives us an alternative to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Water stores and transmits energy in a clean way. Water is climate action.
WATER is SDG. It is the bedrock of every goal in the SDG. I am convinced and I hope you are too. Together, let us make clean water available to all. Together, let us stop open defecation; it is a threat to a clean water goal. Together, let us make the SDG a WATER GOAL.