By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will lead a weeklong activity to highlight the celebration of the 2019 World Water Day (WWD) this Friday, focusing on accessibility to clean water and sanitation as a basic human right.
This year’s WWD celebration will adopt the objective of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (ASD) which calls for concerted actions both on rich and poor countries to end poverty and tackle climate change while leaving no one behind.
The celebration comes at a time when some areas in Metro Manila and Rizal province have been hit by one of the worst water shortage in years.
A series of activities have been lined up nationwide until March 31 to raise awareness about the importance of water and sustainable development, highlighting the 6th of the 17 Sustainable Goals of the 2030 ASD, which is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030.
The activities center around the local theme “Hawak-Kamay, Tubig-Kaagapay” in support of the 2019 WWD’s international theme “Leaving No One Behind,” which forms the core of the 2030 ASD.
Topping the weeklong celebration is the holding of the World Water Day Awards on March 22 and the launching of “The Battle for Esteros” on March 31, which will be highlighted by the simultaneous massive cleanup of some 65 esteros and waterways within the National Capital Region.
The award-giving event will honor some 20 individuals, institutions, and programs that made strides in achieving water and environment sustainability in the Philippines.
Since 2015, a total of 54 “water champions” have been recognized which include leaders of indigenous peoples, community workers, media personalities, local government units and academe based organizations.