The idea of “Walk for Water', was a new concept for me and so I was eager to take part in ActionAid's events for water. Participating in the awareness sessions and other events organized by ActionAid made me rethink the importance of water in our lives. I am more committed to conserving water and making its responsible use in my daily life. We have to save water with efficient use and harvest rainwater.”, uttered Baishakhi (18 years old) from Ghoraghat, who attended the awareness sessions on the importance of water as a part of observing World Water Day 2023.
As a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and campaigning for the sustainable management of freshwater resources, the United Nations (UN) has been celebrating World Water Day every year since 1993. In this continuity, the theme of this year’s (2023) World Water Day is to “accelerate change to solve the water and sanitation crisis” to take action to tackle the global water crisis, in support of SDG 6: clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.
ActionAid Bangladesh has also been working on water management since 2014 to create a space for sharing ideas & innovations, encourage dialogues, foster trans-border activism, and build alliances. This year, ActionAid Bangladesh celebrated “World Water Day-2023” as a part of the broader water goal. ActionAid arranged a short campaign to show solidarity for World Water Day & the UN water conference with the objective of emphasizing the notion of respecting water & valuing it, promoting water conservation, advocating that water injustice is linked to climate change & vulnerability, encouraging sustainable water use and raising awareness about clean water & sanitation (SDG 6).
Along with other operation areas, the campaign was also observed at all LRP (Local Rights Program) levels from 23 to 30 March 2023 where around 3267 children participated in Art & Writing competitions on the ‘importance of water in your life’ followed by taking part in awareness raising sessions about the sustainable use of water. The importance of water has been portrayed by colorful drawings and thoughts of children. One of the participants from Shyamnagar, Riddhi (15) said, “In the art competition, I have drawn a picture of my village that has a river and a tube well. This is what I mean by the importance of water because both of this the only source of water in my area but that is often unsafe to use due to salinity. From the discussion, I have come to know the importance of collecting rainwater that can reduce our problem of water salinity.”
However, different advocacy initiatives in LRP have ensured the participation of 1709 community people including children who discussed with stakeholders on the sustainable management of freshwater resources and safe water supply.