Water Is a Human Right: UN Chief António Guterres

A young girl from Mosul takes water from a tap stand at a UNICEF-supported Temporary Learning Space in Hassan Sham Displacement Camp, Ninewa Governorate. "I like it here because we've been out of school for two years," she said. Photo: UNICEF (Representational image)
A young girl from Mosul takes water from a tap stand at a UNICEF-supported Temporary Learning Space in Hassan Sham Displacement Camp, Ninewa Governorate. “I like it here because we’ve been out of school for two years,” she said. Photo: UNICEF (Representational image)

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Tuesday that 40% of the world’s people are affected by water scarcity.

He was delivering a video message to the Budapest Water Summit, being held in Budapest from 15 to 17 October.

He added that 80% of wastewater is discharged untreated into the environment. And more than 90% of natural disasters are water-related.

Growing demand for water, poor resource management, and the climate emergency have all added to the stress. At the same time, solutions exist — from conservation strategies to desalination technologies.

[ Delhi Disaster Report 2019: Humanitarian Crisis in India’s Capital New Delhi ]

Mr. Guterres said in his message that scaling up such initiatives is urgent and crucial for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), combating the climate crisis, preventing water-related conflicts, and building lives of dignity for all.

“Our bodies, our cities, and our industries, our agriculture and our ecosystems all depend on water. Water is a human right. The United Nations is fully committed to working with you to uphold this right for all,” the UN chief said.

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