22 March is World Water Day. This year's motto is "Valuing Water", underlining the value of water as the number one food. Water is essential for everyone and a prerequisite for life, health, nutrition, educational opportunities and gender equality.
A human right since 2010
Since 2010, the right to access safe drinking water and sanitation has been a human right. The corresponding United Nations resolution calls on governments and international organisations to support affected states in providing safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.
A daily disaster
Despite all promises, the basic supply of clean drinking water remains an unfulfilled human right for large parts of the world's population. 785 million people have no access to an adequate source of drinking water. They have to travel long distances to fetch water and/or rely on water that is contaminated with faeces and pathogens. The lack of clean water poses an existential threat to people. Illnesses due to contaminated water and poor hygiene kill more people every year than war and violence.
Universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all should be achieved by 2030. This is what the international community has set out to achieve in Goal No. 6 of its Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Accordingly, access to water is to be made possible, water quality improved worldwide, the efficiency of water use increased and the number of people suffering from water scarcity significantly reduced.
Water is life, arche noVa is water
For arche noVa, access to clean drinking water and sanitation as well as good education are essential foundations for a world without hardship, in which people can live self-determined and in dignity. According to this vision, a large part of our activities is dedicated to the topic of water.
”For us, water is not just water. It is a human right. It is an important tool for more equality. Without water, many opportunities remain closed. We see it again and again in our projects. Water is indeed life."
We put the human right to water into practice with our local partner organisations.
- Water is the number one topic when arche noVa provides emergency aid. After natural disasters or in crisis regions, quick help is needed. We deliver drinking water by tanker truck or set up water systems that can be built up quickly.
- Our expertise lies in the construction of sustainable water infrastructure in transitional aid and development-oriented cooperation. First and foremost, we build rainwater collection systems, boreholes and wells. Pumps, pipes, treatment plants, tanks and dispensing points are added. In addition, we establish and train water committees to ensure the long-term maintenance and upkeep of the constructed facilities.
- Our water projects do not only provide drinking water, but also access to water for livestock and agriculture. Thus, arche noVa also contributes to food security.
- In many of our project areas, the consequences of the climate crisis are already clearly noticeable. arche noVa specifically supports families who live from small-scale agriculture or nomadic livestock farming and are particularly dependent on an improvement of their water supply.
- Our expertise in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is currently in great demand. During the Corona crisis, we set up hand-washing facilities in numerous project areas and disseminated knowledge on hygiene and health care.
- Last but not least, our water projects contribute to disaster risk reduction. We support civil society and local institutions in preparing for possible crisis scenarios and improving their own resilience.
- Water has also been a topic in our Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) programme from the very beginning. Since 2002, arche noVa has been offering project days on the topic and just a few weeks ago published a method handbook on water. It contains methods and materials of Global Learning especially on the topic of water for use in schools and in volunteer groups.
"Water is a source of life. It gives life, refreshes, scares, is exciting, fun and so much more."
Valuing Water - What does water mean to you?
Water means different things to different people. For World Water Day, the United Nations invites everyone to join the conversation about the value of water.
How important is water to your home and family life, your livelihood, your cultural practices, your well-being, your local environment?
Write to us by email (info [at] arche-nova.org) or on Facebook (@archenova.ev) or Twitter (@archenoVa). Use the Hashtags: #water2me #archenova
For this year's World Water Day, we are appealing for donations for the people of Somalia.