Friday, 20 Mar, 2009 Environment

United Nations World Water Day on March 22


Every year on March 22 the world celebrates World Water Day. The event was initiated by the United Nations and its goal is to focus on the recognition that water represents the key requirement for life on our planet. The World Water Day 2009 has its theme entitled "Shared Water - Shared Opportunities" and "Whether we live upstream or downstream, we are all in the same boat". The theme calls all countries to work as one team to solve trans-boundary water disputes.

On an exhibition entitled "Salt Water Tears: Lives Left Behind in Satkhira, Bangladesh" visitors were able to see a number of photographs that illustrate the real horror of the water problems. The author of the images is Munem Wasif and his goal was to show the impact that the lack of clean, safe water has on people that are living in poor countries.

For example this particular image shows an old wooden boat that sits on a stage of cracked mud. The stage is in reality a piece of land that was once productive, but due to the flooding with salt water it completely dried out.

It is worth mentioning that Prix Pictet and UK charity WaterAid are the ones who gladly offered their support for the exhibition. At the moment WaterAid is working on several projects in Bangladesh, the nation where more than 65 million out of 140 million people do not have access to necessary sanitation.

The author of the exhibition was asked to illustrate a project monitored by WaterAid in the Satkhira region, located in the south-west of Bangladesh. The increased level of salt in the water greatly affected the lives of people in the region. In the pictures taken by Wasif you can see women traveling to new ponds for fresh water, carrying clay pots on their hips. Twice a day these women carry heavy pots with clean water back to the villages they live.

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