World Water Day 2016: How access to clean water can change lives, jobs and entire societies

There is no life without water. Yet it is not often mentioned that the availability and sustainable management of water has a direct link with the creation of quality jobs. The theme of 2016 World Water Day – Better water, better jobs – aims to highlight how water can create paid and decent work while contributing to a greener economy and sustainable development.

Today, almost half of the world’s workers, or about 1.5 billion people, work in water-related sectors. Around 650 million people (one in 10 of the world’s population) do not have access to safe water, putting them at risk of infectious diseases and premature death. Dirty water and poor sanitation can cause severe diarrhoeal diseases in children, killing 900 under-fives a day across the world, according to United Nations estimates – or one child every two minutes.

 A child carries water home through a brick factory on the outskirts of Yangon Myanmar once known as the 'rice bowl of Asia' because of its agricultural richesYe Aung Thu/ AFP
A child carries water home through a brick factory on the outskirts of Yangon Myanmar once known as the ‘rice bowl of Asia’ because of its agricultural richesYe Aung Thu/ AFP

The availability and quality of water has a direct impact on workers’ lives. Every year over 340,000 workers die because of inadequate water supply and sanitation. Fishermen depend on the quality of fresh water, while a farmer’s job depends on the ability to manage the available freshwater. In factories, 38 workers die from water-related diseases every hour, which can be prevented with cleaner water and sanitation.

Women and often children have to trek for hours every day to bring home water for their families. However, despite its importance, it is a chore which is not remunerated nor recognised. However, if availability of water was guaranteed, they could be learning skills that would help them to find better work. This is why the 2016 World Water Day theme — water and jobs — is so important. It is focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies.

13 January, 2016: A Kashmiri fisherman throws out his net from his boat on Dal lake during dense fog in SrinagarTauseef Mustafa/ AFP
13 January, 2016: A Kashmiri fisherman throws out his net from his boat on Dal lake during dense fog in SrinagarTauseef Mustafa/ AFP

 

11 July, 2007: A man cleans away dead fish at a lake in Wuhan, central China's Hubei provinceReuters
11 July, 2007: A man cleans away dead fish at a lake in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei provinceReuters
29 June 2012: A boy lies in muddy water in Pokhara valley, west of Nepal's capital KathmanduNavesh Chitrakar/ Reuters
29 June 2012: A boy lies in muddy water in Pokhara valley, west of Nepal’s capital KathmanduNavesh Chitrakar/ Reuters
28 November 2007: An Indian labourer drinks water at an aluminium reprocessing unit in Dharavi, Asia's largest slums in MumbaiArko Datta/ Reuters
28 November 2007: An Indian labourer drinks water at an aluminium reprocessing unit in Dharavi, Asia’s largest slums in MumbaiArko Datta/ Reuters

 

13 April 2007: A man searches through debris in polluted water looking for items to salvage after a fire in a slum in Malabon, north of ManilaDarren Whiteside/ Reuters
13 April 2007: A man searches through debris in polluted water looking for items to salvage after a fire in a slum in Malabon, north of ManilaDarren Whiteside/ Reuters

 

 

1 May 2015: A motorcyclist negotiates away from piles of foam at Varthur Kodi junction situated in east Bangalore. The innocuous-looking foam is toxic effluent caused by the polluted sewage water overflowing from nearby Varthur LakeManjunath Kiran/ AFP
1 May 2015: A motorcyclist negotiates away from piles of foam at Varthur Kodi junction situated in east Bangalore. The innocuous-looking foam is toxic effluent caused by the polluted sewage water overflowing from nearby Varthur LakeManjunath Kiran/ AFP

 

 

19 March, 2015: A father and son paddle on a makeshift boat made from styrofoam through a garbage filled river as they collect plastic bottles to sell on in junkshops in Manila Noel Celis/ AFP
19 March, 2015: A father and son paddle on a makeshift boat made from styrofoam through a garbage filled river as they collect plastic bottles to sell on in junkshops in Manila Noel Celis/ AFP

 

25 April 2007: A labourer cleans an underground sewage in DhakaRafiqur Rahman/ Reuters
25 April 2007: A labourer cleans an underground sewage in DhakaRafiqur Rahman/ Reuters

 

22 May, 2011: A wastewater treatment plant is submerged by the Yazoo River floodwaters near Yazoo City, Yazoo County, MississippiMario Tama/ Getty Images
22 May, 2011: A wastewater treatment plant is submerged by the Yazoo River floodwaters near Yazoo City, Yazoo County, MississippiMario Tama/ Getty Images
5 November 2004: A worker from the Maynilad Water utilities struggles to install a valve underwater on an excavated Manila's main water line as part of an upgrade of the water distribution systemRomeo Gacad/ AFP
5 November 2004: A worker from the Maynilad Water utilities struggles to install a valve underwater on an excavated Manila’s main water line as part of an upgrade of the water distribution systemRomeo Gacad/ AFP

 

11 January, 2011: A girl carries water back to her home in an area for displaced Sudanese in the southern Sudanese city of Juba, SudanSpencer Platt/Getty Images
11 January, 2011: A girl carries water back to her home in an area for displaced Sudanese in the southern Sudanese city of Juba, SudanSpencer Platt/Getty Images

 

7 December 2008: A boy carries water for domestic use he fetched from an untreated well which has been a major source of cholera in Harare, ZimbabweDesmond Kwande/ AFP
7 December 2008: A boy carries water for domestic use he fetched from an untreated well which has been a major source of cholera in Harare, ZimbabweDesmond Kwande/ AFP

 

24 November, 2012: A young Rohingya girl carries water to her tent at a IDP camp on the outskirts of Sittwe, MyanmarPaula Bronstein/ Getty Images
24 November, 2012: A young Rohingya girl carries water to her tent at a IDP camp on the outskirts of Sittwe, MyanmarPaula Bronstein/ Getty Images

 

1955: A Rhodesian woman carries her baby on her back and a pail of water on her headGetty Images
1955: A Rhodesian woman carries her baby on her back and a pail of water on her headGetty Images

 

25 January 2002: A girl carries potable water to her home in GomaPedro Ugarte/ AFP
25 January 2002: A girl carries potable water to her home in GomaPedro Ugarte/ AFP

 

 

2 December 2004: Indian Kashmiri girls carry water pots on their heads in the outskirts of Srinagar, KashmirSajjad Husaain/ AFP
2 December 2004: Indian Kashmiri girls carry water pots on their heads in the outskirts of Srinagar, KashmirSajjad Husaain/ AFP

 

8 April 2015: Jolene Bertetto, a water conservation technician with East Bay Municipal Utility District, takes a water sample from run-off in a neighborhood in Oakland, California. Bertetto was conducting investigations into waste water and sources of water leaks as the state's top water regulators released a framework for enforcing California's first statewide mandatory restrictions on urban water useRobert Galbraith/ Reuters
8 April 2015: Jolene Bertetto, a water conservation technician with East Bay Municipal Utility District, takes a water sample from run-off in a neighborhood in Oakland, California. Bertetto was conducting investigations into waste water and sources of water leaks as the state’s top water regulators released a framework for enforcing California’s first statewide mandatory restrictions on urban water useRobert Galbraith/ Reuters

 

22 April 2015: Glasses depicting raw sewage, plant effluent filtered and recycled water are displayed during a ceremony to break ground on the Terminal Island's Advanced Water Purification Facility in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles, CaliforniaBob Riha Jr/ Reuters
22 April 2015: Glasses depicting raw sewage, plant effluent filtered and recycled water are displayed during a ceremony to break ground on the Terminal Island’s Advanced Water Purification Facility in the San Pedro section of Los Angeles, CaliforniaBob Riha Jr/ Reuters

 

19 February 2016: A man cuts a fish at the fishermen's dock in La Libertad, El SalvadorJose Cabezas/ Reuters
19 February 2016: A man cuts a fish at the fishermen’s dock in La Libertad, El SalvadorJose Cabezas/ Reuters

 

4 February, 2016: A local fisherman holds fishes during a protest to demand the increase of their fishing limits outside the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Bangkok, ThailandChaiwat Subprasom/ Reuters
4 February, 2016: A local fisherman holds fishes during a protest to demand the increase of their fishing limits outside the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Bangkok, Thailand (Chaiwat Subprasom/ Reuters)

 

25 December 2016: Fishermen screen the contents of their nets for glass eels in the early hoursBilly H.C. Kwok/ Getty Images
25 December 2016: Fishermen screen the contents of their nets for glass eels in the early hours (Billy H.C. Kwok/ Getty Images)

 

3 March 2016: Kenyan fisherman pull up their nets in the early morning as they fish on Lake VictoriaCarl De Souza/ AFP
3 March 2016: Kenyan fisherman pull up their nets in the early morning as they fish on Lake Victoria (Carl De Souza/ AFP)

 

 

November 2 2015: A fisherman throws a fish during the traditional carp haul in the village of Smrzov, near the south Bohemian town of Trebon, Czech RepublicDavid W Cerny/ Reuters
November 2 2015: A fisherman throws a fish during the traditional carp haul in the village of Smrzov, near the south Bohemian town of Trebon, Czech Republic (David W Cerny/ Reuters)

 

8 January 2016: An Indian farmer stands on a cart pulled by a horse during foggy weather in Jalandhar (Shammi Mehra/ AFP)
8 January 2016: An Indian farmer stands on a cart pulled by a horse during foggy weather in Jalandhar (Shammi Mehra/ AFP)

 

15 March, 2016: A farmer harvests broccoli in the town of al-Ansariyeh south of Sidon, Lebanon (Ali Hashisho/ Reuters)
15 March, 2016: A farmer harvests broccoli in the town of al-Ansariyeh south of Sidon, Lebanon (Ali Hashisho/ Reuters)

 

2 March, 2016: Farmers putting dry paddy into bags for sale in Vi Thuy, in the southern Mekong delta province of Hau Giang (AFP)
2 March, 2016: Farmers putting dry paddy into bags for sale in Vi Thuy, in the southern Mekong delta province of Hau Giang (AFP)

 

28 May 2007: A woman from the San Jose de Aymara community washes native potatoes during harvest in Huancavelica, Peru (Eitan Abramovich/ AFP)
28 May 2007: A woman from the San Jose de Aymara community washes native potatoes during harvest in Huancavelica, Peru (Eitan Abramovich/ AFP)
18 April 2011: An employee of the National Forestry Commission carries a chainsaw in a burnt area near Cancun, Mexico (Gerardo Garcia/ Reuters)
18 April 2011: An employee of the National Forestry Commission carries a chainsaw in a burnt area near Cancun, Mexico (Gerardo Garcia/ Reuters)

 

10 September 2015: A helicopter carries water to be dropped on a burning forest at Ogan Komering Ulu area in Indonesia's south Sumatra province (Beawiharta/ Reuters)
10 September 2015: A helicopter carries water to be dropped on a burning forest at Ogan Komering Ulu area in Indonesia’s south Sumatra province (Beawiharta/ Reuters)
Source: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/

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