GWP, UN spearhead discourse on sustainable development goals

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Global Water Partnership, in collaboration with the United Nations and DHI, yesterday held a national stakeholders workshop on monitoring and reporting on SDH6 -Indicator 6.5, at the Tango conference hall.

UN environment is supporting countries in monitoring sustainable development goals (SDG) 6 including target 6.5: “By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate”.

The target supports the equitable and efficient use of water resources, which is essential for social and economic development as well as for environmental sustainability.

In her opening remarks, Madam Ndey Sireng Bakurin, chairperson of the Gambia Country Water Partnership (GCMP), said the GCMP is a network of national partners dedicated to water development and management under the framework of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).

It’s a neutral and multi-stakeholders platform for the promotion of IWRM at the national levels, she said.

According to her, the cornerstone of all GCWP programmes is the involvement of stakeholders themselves in the development process.

Local people are encouraged to identity their own needs and to play an active role in addressing them, she stated.

She said managing water to ensure sustainable development goes beyond its social, economic and environment dimension, and addresses several developmental challenges, such as accelerated urbanization, food and energy security, industries growth and climate change.

She said according to the UNDP/SEI (2006), water-management contributes to enhancing livelihoods security, reducing health risks, minimizing vulnerability and promoting economic growth for poverty alleviation.

She added that managing water in such contexts is a challenge that requires the joint action of government, civil society and the private sector.

She said Global Water Partnership would continue their collaboration with UN Environment and NNDI and the Gambia Government for the sustainable environment.

For his part, Manding Saidykhan, Principal Secretary at the Fisheries and Water Resources, underscored the importance of the workshop, saying water sustains life and is therefore a basic human need and right without which human being would not survive.

 A minimum of 20 to 40 litres of water per day per person is needed for drinking and basic hygiene, he said, adding that freshwater resources increasing demand from population growth, economic activity and, in some countries, improve standard of living.

He said according to the United Nations, access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is essential for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] UN, 2006.

 “It is a fundamental requirement for effective primary healthcare and precondition for success in fighting poverty, hunger, child mortality, gender inequality and environmental damage.”

He said a strong political will often motivated by a need to address burning issues is a clear distribution of roles and responsibilities among the stakeholders.

According to Mr Saidykhan, 1.1 million people still do not have safe water supplies, adding that more than 2 billion people are affected by water shortage.

Two million tonnes per day of human waste are deposits in water resources, he said, adding that each year, unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation kill at least 1.6 million children below the age of five years. 

Author: Yai Dibba