Coalition Eau (Water Coalition) is a collective of French NGOs committed to promoting access to water and sanitation for all and good management of water resources. To mark World Water Day on 22 March last, Coalition Eau coordinator Sandra Métayer answered our questions.
What is the context in which World Water Day 2019 is taking place?
The theme of this year’s World Water Day (in french) is “Leaving no one behind”. 2.1 billion people do not have access to drinking water services, and the majority of these live in sub-Saharan Africa. Inequalities are also high within countries: 80 % of people with no access to healthy water live in rural areas. The wealthiest among the population generally receive high levels of service at very low prices, while poor people pay higher prices for alternative systems, as is the case in slums for example. Some social groups such as women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples or members of certain ethnic groups are often neglected and sometimes subject to discrimination. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is girls and women who collect water. They spend a quarter of their daily time doing this, to the detriment of their education and their economic independence.
How to fight against inequalities in the area of water?
The fight against inequalities is a promise made by States within the framework of the United Nations Sustainable development goals, which target universal access to drinking water and sanitation by 2030. But access to water and sanitation is above all a fundamental human right: this implies that States are responsible for guaranteeing access for all individuals, in fair and affordable conditions. Policies and resources must be geared as a priority towards the most vulnerable and marginalised populations. Becoming aware of inequalities also means fighting against all forms of discrimination and their underlying causes, which are often deeply rooted in our social, economic and cultural systems.
How is Coalition Eau mobilised for World Water Day?
World Water Day (in french) is a key opportunity for Coalition Eau’s members to become mobilised in raising the awareness of the general public and the media on issues relating to water. Conferences, screenings, actions in schools, campaigns… This year yet again, there have been many mobilisations! Our partner End Water Poverty also facilitated a worldwide campaign entitled “The month of action for water”, with activities across the world and on social media.
Read the brief entitled “Coalition Eau’s offices moved to GRET headquarters on 1st January!”
Download the Coalition Eau press release on World Water Day (in french)
See the Coalition Eau website
See all information on the mobilisation of Coalition Eau and its partners here