Editorial: Ensuring access to water requires protecting water-bodies from destruction…


World Water Day, 22 March 2021, is about what water means to people, its true value and how we can better protect this vital resource.

The World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the global water crisis, and a core focus of this observance is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

The theme of World Water Day 2021 is valuing water. The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment.

SDG 6 is to ensure water and sanitation for all. There is no aspect of sustainable development that does not fundamentally rely upon it.

On the occasion of World Water Day this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres observed that: “Today, we are not on track to ensure everyone has access to water and sanitation by 2030, as set out in Sustainable Development Goal 6”.

He is of the considered opinion that current progress needs to quadruple to achieve universal access. According to the United Nations, global water demand is likely is rise by over 50 percent by 2040.

That is why we at the B&FT believe that there can be no compromise with the issue of the pollution and destruction of our water-bodies through illegal mining. We firmly believe government, and for that matter the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, must do all within their power to ensure this illegal activity that not only threatens our environment but equally our access to water is tackled forthrightly; or else all our sources of water will be destroyed and access for all will remain a mirage.

Valuing water appropriately is key to achieving the United Nations Global Goals. All too often, the value of water and its full suite of multiple values are not prominent in decision-making at all.

The current status of water resources highlights the need for improved water resources management. The exploitation of the Atiwa Forest Reserve – which is the origin of several important rivers in the country as well as globally unique flora and fauna – for bauxite has the propensity to destroy this vital natural resource; and has environmentalists and naturalists around the world lamenting this notion of short-term profit over sustainable livelihood.

World Water Day is a reminder of the critical importance of this vital resource.

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