World Water Day is celebrated every year on March 22nd to raise awareness about the importance of freshwater and the need to conserve this precious resource. This year, on World Water Day 2023, we come together to highlight the critical role that water plays in our lives and the urgent need to address the global water crisis.

Water is essential for all forms of life, and yet, it is estimated that 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 4.2 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation. The effects of this water crisis are devastating, with millions of people suffering from waterborne diseases, including cholera, typhoid, and dysentery. The scarcity of water also contributes to poverty, food insecurity, and political instability.

The theme for World Water Day 2023 is “Accelerating Change,” emphasizing the need to accelerate change to solve the world’s water and sanitation crisis. It is a call to action to prioritize the most vulnerable populations and to work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. According to the United Nations, there’s an urgent need to accelerate change – to go beyond ‘business as usual.’ To achieve this goal, we must address the root causes of the water crisis, including population growth, climate change, and unsustainable water use. We need to develop innovative solutions, such as water harvesting and recycling, and invest in infrastructure to provide clean water and sanitation to communities that lack access.

But we cannot do this alone. It will require a collective effort from governments, businesses, and individuals around the world. Governments must prioritize water management and invest in infrastructure to ensure that everyone has access to clean water and sanitation. Businesses must adopt sustainable water practices and prioritize the protection of water resources. Individuals must also play their part by conserving water, reducing pollution, and advocating for change.

As an NGO, Diamond Development Initiatives has been involved in interventions that contribute to the attainment of SDG 6 which centres on access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene as the most basic human need for health and well-being. For instance, between 2019 and 2022, DDI was part of the implementers of a USAID-funded Water for Agriculture Activity (WFAA) in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (also known as the BAY states). Managed by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partners, the three-year project engendered the development and implementation of interventions that sustainably increased water availability and management thereby increasing agricultural productivity in the BAY states of Nigeria.

Over 50,000 livestock herders and 4,000 smallholder farmers (SHFs) in selected post-crisis-affected communities in the three states benefited from the project, resulting in increased agricultural production and income among SHFs and livestock herders by linking them with adequate and sustainable water supply. While the project improved farming and livestock production, it also showed target communities and local government institutions how to manage, operate and maintain water infrastructure and sources.

On this World Water Day 2023, let us all commit to taking action to address the global water crisis. Let us recognize the critical role that water plays in our lives and the lives of future generations. And let us work towards ensuring that everyone has access to clean water and sanitation, leaving no one behind.

HappyWorldWaterDay from all of us @DDINigeria!

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