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World Water Day 2019: "Leave No One Behind"

15. March 2019 - World
On the 22nd of March is World Water Day. This year's motto is: "Leave no one behind - water and sanitation for all". In this way, the United Nations is drawing attention to neglected groups. For arche noVa, every day is World Water Day, on which we stand up for inclusion.

Access to clean drinking water is still very unequally distributed worldwide. A total of around 850 million people have no access to safe drinking water. They supply themselves at open water points, lakes or rivers - with fatal consequences for their health. But even where there is a good drinking water supply, there are people living who fall through the cracks.


Leaving no one behind means inclusion

It's about

  • People who are too poor to afford the available water,
  • People who live with physical or other disabilities and therefore cannot reach a water supply,
  • People who are marginalized and therefore do not even appear at water distribution points,
  • People who live too far away from water systems, including people without a permanent home, e.g. nomads or migrant workers.

World Water Day will focus on all these marginalised groups. Since 2016 at the latest, when the UN member states agreed on the sustainable development goals (SDG), inclusion has been the claim to which the world community has committed itself in its efforts to achieve global development.

Projects for all are complex

As an NGO in the field of WASH, we face the challenge of inclusion. At the same time we meet the demand that humanitarian projects are increasingly judged on their measurable effectiveness. It is about efficiency. This inevitably leads to rapid solutions being promoted for as many people as possible. Sustainable projects that include marginalised groups, on the other hand, are costly. In every single project we have to reconsider and weigh this up.

Overcoming prejudices and barriers

Inclusive projects are more than technical solutions. They begin with the assessment of the various requirements. Who are the relevant groups? Which people with special needs need to be considered? Do marginalised groups have their say? Do stigmata and prejudices prevent the participation of individuals? Building on this, WASH programmes can be implemented that overcome barriers and provide access for all - regardless of factors such as ethnic origin, social status, gender or disability.

Our projects integrate people. For example:

  • nomadic livestock breeders in Ethiopia
  • Women's self-help groups in Uganda
  • ethnic minorities in Myanmar
  • People without permanent residence in Iraq
  • Girls at schools in Mali
  • Schoolchildren with a handicap in Lebanon