Tip | How to improve the living conditions for India’s tribal communities: World Water Day held annually on 22 March – United Nations

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World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2015, World Water Day has the theme “Water and Sustainable Development”.

In 2016, the theme is “Water and Jobs,” in 2017 “Wastewater” and in 2018 “Nature-based Solutions for Water”.

Source: UN-Water: World Water Day
Address: https://www.unwater.org/campaigns/world-water-day/en/
Declaration of the Youth participants of the launching of the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation

7 Ways Indian Villages Adopted Water Management to Combat Drought
Neeti Vijaykumar, The Better India, 22 April 2016  | To read the full article and view more photos, click here >>
As most of India deals with the drastic consequences of drought, find out how these villages in India are reaping the benefits of efficient water management and revival systems.
It’s no secret that rainwater management and water harvesting can bring about a major socioeconomic turn around in villages and farmlands. […]
In the period between 1980 and 1990 in Gujarat, Sadguru Foundation, an NGO, worked hard to bring back water in five villages through watershed management and dams. For instance, in the Dahod district, Bhil tribals faced acute shortage of water for decades. It all changed when in 1994, check dams were built along the Machhan, and watershed management programs were undertaken. As the dams recharged the groundwater, water became available to the 153 households in that area. Similarly, the Raj-Samadhiyala village, near Rajkot, revived itself from an arid zone to a lush cultivated area. Gandhigram residents had no clean drinking water for decades. That changed in 1999, when the villagers took a loan to build a check dam. In Mandlikpur and Jhabua, the villagers initiated rainwater harvesting on the rooftops of their homes, besides undertaking watershed management to recharge their wells. These techniques got the villages through many spells of drought in the years to come. […]
“There are 230 households in the village and only those people who own shops would benefit directly from this project, that is, about 60 households. The rest of the families did not believe in the project at all,” he says. It took several meetings and presentations before all the villagers agreed. Ankush explained how the project would be beneficial for all of them, as eco-tourism could provide them with a good source of alternate income, based on their advantageous location.
Currently, seven months into the fellowship, Ankush is concentrating on two main projects. One of them is to set up a restaurant at the waterfall site that will serve local tribal cuisine. He wants the women in the village to be involved in this and is working with two self-help groups – training women on the workings of a restaurant, how to keep it up and running, how to speak with customers, etc.
The forest department has already agreed to sanction land for the construction of the restaurant and Ankush is trying to gather the required funds to take it forward next month. […]
After completing his Master’s in International Hospitality from the University of Perpignan in France, Ankush worked for eight years before quitting his Dubai-based job in 2014 in search of something new. An avid traveller at heart, he travelled for about a year before taking up this project in Gujarat. Here, he is working in collaboration with the non-profit organisation, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, which helped him with the initial funding for the project.
According to him, the real impact of his fellowship has been in the change in perception towards eco-tourism that he has been able to create among the villagers and also for government officials. He is hopeful that with the newly gained knowledge the villagers will be able to take the project forward without his help.
“One of the reasons why I gave up on my old life was because I was tired of planning all the time. So I don’t have any plans at the moment, but I might come back to this region to take the project forward and develop facilities for rural homestays in the village,” concludes Ankush.

Source: 7 Ways Indian Villages Adopted Water Management to Combat Drought
Address: https://www.thebetterindia.com/53323/villages-fighting-drought-success-stories/
Date Visited: Wed Mar 22 2017 10:17:40 GMT+0100 (CET)

To view the Info-Graphic by unwater.org titled Water: Cooperation or Competition?, click here (PDF) >>

Pavillon de l’eau, Paris, France, 11 February 2013 

Preamble
1. We, the youth participating in the launching of the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, having met in Paris, France on 11 February 2013, are working together for the protection, restoration and better management of natural resources,
particularly fresh water, a vital resource which is becoming increasingly scarce and polluted every day.
2. We affirm our commitment to cooperate and to find solutions to the challenges that are threatening the
livelihoods of millions of people around the world, with emphasis on unequal access to water and sanitation, its linkages with climate change and a more equitable water governance, including aspects related to gender equality.
3. We affirm to work with honesty, transparency, with and for our communities, to join forces and share
capacities; to be fair between human needs and natural resources, and, to act in good faith.
4. We also affirm our commitment to cooperate and contribute to our governments’ efforts in achieving “The
Future We Want”, as well as in the implementation of other water-related international agreements, the 2013
International Year of Water Cooperation, the International Decade for Action: Water for Life”, the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and the 2012 Declaration of the World Youth Parliament for Water.

[…] we acknowledge that enhanced cooperation, good governance and stakeholders’ participation at local, national, international and basin levels are essential for fair, and inclusive water distribution based on the local circumstances . We also highlight the role of parliaments in generating inclusive participation in cooperation with governments, civil society actors, water and sanitation experts, indigenous people, women, youth, and children, because we can altogether achieve great things with relatively small efforts.

Source: Youth_Declaration-International_Year_of_Water_Cooperation_2013.pdf
Address: https://www.unwater.org/fileadmin/user_upload/watercooperation2013/doc/Youth_Declaration-International_Year_of_Water_Cooperation_2013.pdf
Date Visited: Wed Mar 22 2017 09:50:50 GMT+0100 (CET)

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