We are pleased to present blog entries from students as part of our Water Wednesdays series. These students are working with WFSS as part of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY.
WASH and UN Sustainable Goals
On September 25th, 2015, world leaders from over 150 countries met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. They discussed a set of goals to promote the well-being of the international community over the next 15 years. These 17 goals are called the Sustainable Development Goals and according to the UN website, they hope to achieve three things by 2030: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change.
These 17 goals cover a wide range of topics, such as hunger, gender equality, and economic growth. Goal 6 relates perfectly to the water crisis in South Sudan and the work that Water for South Sudan does to drill wells and increase access to clean, safe water. This goal strives to ensure access to water and sanitation for all through a list of more specific target goals.
The water situation throughout the world has certainly improved over the years; 2.6 billion people have gained access to drinking water since 1990, with the proportion of the global population using an improved drinking water source increasing from 76 percent to 91 percent. However, the UN estimates that 663 million people in the world are still without that access. Sanitation is a similar problem, and as a result of polluted water and a lack of basic sanitation services, preventable diseases are taking innocent lives every day.
Sustainable Development Goal 6 endeavors to provide solutions for these problems. One of these targets, which the UN hopes to achieve by 2030, is “universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.” Other targets include increased water quality by reducing pollution, the protection and restoration of water-related ecosystems, and sanitation and hygiene for all, especially due to the needs of women and girls.
For more information on Goal 6 and the other Sustainable Development Goals, visit http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/