The National Water Week is an awareness week campaign by the Department of Affairs which serves as a powerful campaign mechanism re-iterating the value of water, the need for sustainable management of this scarce resource and the role water plays in eradicating poverty and under-development in South Africa.
The campaign seeks to continue building on the ongoing awareness creation within the broader South African community. This awareness creation is coupled with the responsibility that every citizen must take in ensuring the integrity of our water resources and its efficient use.
Particularly, the linkages between water services, supply, resource management, poverty eradication, social and economic development are emphasised in a number of innovative ways. The campaign has been influenced by local needs and international sectoral trends.
The awareness week campaign will take place from 17 – 23 March 2014 under the theme “Water is Life – 20 Years of Water Delivery for Social and Economic Development”. The theme coincides with South Africa’s celebrations of 20 years of freedom and democracy. This momentous occasion presents an opportunity for South Africa’s to reflect on how freedom and democracy was achieved; the progress made in the past 20 years and how South Africans will work together to implement Vision 2030.
This year, the Department will celebrate the success of Government’s water delivery programmes and management during the two decades of democracy. This is an important achievement given the backlog inherited in 1994. Two decades ago, around 14 million people did not have access to safe drinking water and some 21 million people did not have access to a basic level of sanitation.
In the 20 years since democracy, the Department has provided water to millions of South Africans with clean access to water. In South Africa, March is also regarded as Human Rights Month and as such, the 21st of March will see the country celebrating human rights day and on 22 March 2014 World Water Day.
As custodians of this awareness week, the Department of Water Affairs is encouraging all South Africans to focus on the need to restore and preserve the integrity of this most precious resource, water. South Africans must take responsibility to make sure this scarce resource is managed in an effective and sustainable manner. Remember to report the misuse of water and other faults to the nearest municipal offices or call the Department’s toll free number at 0800 200 200.
Doorn River Waterfall, Northern Cape – by Damien du Toit. Source: Wikipedia