PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has made a clarion call to global leaders to explore water reuse with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Goal six which highlights water and sanitation service delivery.
President Zuma, who was speaking at the opening of the World Water Day Summit and Expo on 22 March, led a high-powered delegation of African Presidents and Ministers, United Nations officials and experts in the water and sanitation sector.
The three-day World Water Day Summit and Expo which was held at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre ended on 24 March. During the opening, President Zuma who is also the Chairperson of the Heads of States Committee on the United Nations High Level Panel on Water launched the 2017 World Water Development Report. “This key report is aimed at drawing attention to the current dismal global status of water and sanitation and to inspire commitment to an urgent call for action by world leaders to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” he said.
According to the report, 147 countries have met the Sustainable Development Goals’ drinking water target. A total of 95 countries have not met the sanitation target and only 77 counties have met both. “These statistics do not do justice in conveying the development and health challenges faced by so many people, or in contextualising how unevenly these basic services are distributed around the world and within societies,” President Zuma added.
The Summit was welcomed by leadership from the three spheres of government as it came at a time when some parts of the country are currently grappling with drought. KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu said this Summit has created an information sharing platform on best practices to ensure adequate provision of water for both domestic and commercial use. “The drought has had a devastating impact not only on our economy and commercial demand for water, but also on human access to portable drinking water, drinking water for livestock and game farms, crop production and food security,” said Premier Mchunu, adding that despite mass mobilisation and awareness campaigns, KZN was still not achieving its water saving targets. email@example.com