Water is life and key to sustainable development, use it diligently-stakeholders cautioned!


“Water holds the key to sustainable development. We need it for health, food security and economic progress. Yet, each year brings new pressures. One in three people already live in a country with moderate to high water stress, and by 2030 nearly half the global population could be facing water scarcity, with demand exceeding supply by 40 per cent”. So reads the message of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon on the 2013 edition of world water day on the 22nd of March, 2013.

Celebrated under the theme Water Cooperation, the World Water Day 2013 was dedicated to highlight the joint efforts necessary to ensuring a fair share for people and planet.

Amidst serious water pressure in the country, World Water Day was celebrated in Cameroon with a call for a collaborative action towards ensuring the availability of potable water for every Cameroonian.

In the South West Region, governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in the water sector took part in a round table discussion, to commemorate the day, at the Regional Delegation for water and energy resources in Limbe.

Chairing the ceremony, the Southwest Regional Delegate for Water and Energy Resources, Celestine Anyam stressed that water is a common resource and urged everyone to use it more diligently and waste less so all get a fair share. He equally called on stakeholders to work with water management committees to be able to empower local people manage their water themselves to ensure sustainability. Mr. Anyam urged local people to plant water friendly trees along water catchments to curb water crisis.

The event saw its highpoint when a representative from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Ms Mahah Vladimire presented a paper on some of the possible long run effects of the absence of water. The presentation took the form of a letter in which a man takes himself to five decades ahead where life seemed impossible due to lack of water. “I experience major kidney problems, because I drink very little water. I think that I don’t have much more time to live. Today, I am 57 and the oldest person living in this society. When I was born,there were lots of trees in the parks, houses had beautiful gardens, and I could enjoy long baths and stay in the shower for one whole hour. Today, rivers, dams, lagoons, and under-ground water are all either irremediably polluted or completely dried up. There are no more seasons. Climatic changes such as the greenhouse effect and the polluting activities we indulged in during the twentieth century took care of that. Here, though, there are no more trees because it hardly ever rains. And whenever it does rain, it is acid rain that comes down. We were warned about the need to take care of our environment, but nobody bothered”

After listening to this presentation, satakeholders attending the round table discussion were so touched and pledged to put all hands on deck to to fight water crisis in Cameroon.

This was quickly followed by a visit to one of the water catchments in Mile 4, a small community in Limbe. Here, some locals expressed how beneficial the catchment has been to them for domestic use. “We have less problem now thanks to this catchment. I now have water to cook and wash clothes” Sarah Lisoka explained.

By Regina Fonjia Leke

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