Bhubaneswar, Nov 24: As an important 5T initiative, the Department of Water Resources and UNICEF signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) today in a ceremony presided over by Anu Garg, Principal Secretary , Water Resources to collaborate on communication and policy initiatives of the department.
This endeavour aims at engage with the community on sustainable water management, prudent water use, equity in water distribution, water conservation, women as principal stakeholders in water governance and participatory irrigation management.
Speaking on the occasion, Garg expressed that, the department, for the first time since inception, is unleashing its soft power through greater community engagement in matters of water governance, water conservation and keeping water clean.
She explained that, climate change has forced all to rethink the way water is managed and that it is the responsibility of all the stakeholders to work towards realizing key Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) such as access to safe and affordable drinking water; sanitation and hygiene; improved water quality; wastewater treatment and safe reuse; increased water-use efficiency; Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM); protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems; capacity-building and participation in water and sanitation management. She also launched a Web Site “Youth4Water” for the purpose.
Chief Field Office, UNICEF Monika Nielsen who signed the LOU maintained that, large-scale urbanization, shifting cultivation patterns, and an increase in industry have forced us to think more strategically about water and communication and work to achieve the SDG. While challenges continue to evolve in different sectors, more and more emphasis is given on communication to address few of such challenges. UNICEF is committed to bringing positive changes to the lives of women and children and these changes cannot be achieved without addressing the water-related issues. Through this partnership UNICEF is committed to develop high impact communication materials and water policy that will help ensure change in the behaviour of children and women on sustainable water use and conservation.