March 22 - World Water Day

"Without water there is no dignity and no escape from poverty" - Ban Ki-moon

Established by the UN, the celebration of World Water Day, is a moment of reflection and debate on issues like its global and local availability, management and access and preservation, among others.

This year's celebration was under the theme "Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge" and served as the point of analysis for a reflection on the importance of water as a fundamental challenge for the future and particularly in urban areas. According to available data, in less than a generation, sixty percent of the world population will be living in cities and the vast majority of this growth occurs in remote and poor areas of cities from developing countries.

In Cape Verde, to mark the day, were held, in a partnership between the National Institute for Water Resources and UNDP, various activities from a round table, entitled Water and Sustainability - cities of the future, to cultural events and exhibitions.

At the opening ceremony of the Round Table, the UNDP Representative, Ms. Narjess Saidani, mentioning the UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, who says that "Without water there is no dignity and no escape from poverty" considered that many are the countries that still have a long way to go to achieve the millennium development goals on water and sanitation area and that is in urban centers that the problems are getting aggravating, exceeding, in many cases, the capacities of countries to build sustainable solutions.

The last decade data reveal that, the number of inhabitants of urban settlements that lack access to a water tap in their homes or nearby, increased to estimated one hundred fourteen million, and the number of those who have no access to basic sanitation facilities increased to one hundred thirty-four million. The UNDP Representative, stressed at the occasion that this represents an increase of twenty percent, which impact is extremely negative on human health. There are over eight hundred million people who, in a world of plenty, still have no safe water or sanitation, stressed Ms. Narjess Saidani, calling for continue the work to raise awareness about the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the quality, quantity and access to water and ensure an increase in per capita investment in water and sanitation.

Still in the roundtable, which aimed to foster a discussion on consumption, actions and measures that can be taken to preserve water, the Minister of Planning, Housing and the Environment, Dr. Sara Lopes, made an appeal to the rational and sustainable use of "the single link that connects all living beings on the planet - water", considering that besides the investments for the public policies on water, public investment, is extremely important the work on people's awareness, showing them that the water is truly a scarce good.

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