World Water Day Print E-mail
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Thursday, 21 March 2013 00:00

On Friday, March 22nd, the world will be observing World Water Day under the theme, “Water Cooperation:. In Belize, the observance is being marked with a World Water Fair which will be held in Orange Walk Town on Thursday, March 21st under the theme, “Water Development, Past Present and Future”. According to World Water Day Committee members Rudolph Williams and Claudio Neal, the event will see organizations that are intricately involved with the water resource put up displays at the event.

World Water Day is observed every 22nd of March and this year marks the 20th anniversary of the observance. According to Williams, most take the water resource for granted when it fact, it is the single most important element to sustain life. In Belize, we have an abundance of water and according to Williams, who is a trained hydrologist, every Belizean has at least 8 thousand buckets of water available every day for their daily requirements. By the United Nation’s standards, persons should have at least 10 buckets of water available daily. The abundance of the resource then makes Belizeans not appreciate its value. Williams added that if we continue to not give attention to it, we will end up with dirty water that we’ll be unable to use.

As it is, in Belize there is a multi-sectoral approach to managing the resource especially because of the pressures that are put on it. Williams explained that much of our everyday activities like the cutting down of forests, planting on steep slopes, emptying of waste water into streams and others affect the resource. This coupled with climate change phenomena like intense rain storms and longer periods of drought degrade the quality of water that is available for use. These overloads to the natural water cycles does not allow for water to not be recycled naturally and thereby depleting the resource.

For now, however, the multi-sectoral local and international approach to managing the resource is allowing for Belize to still have a good supply of clean water. Williams said that Government departments like the Ministries of Health, Geology, and Hydrology Belize Water Services and other departments work closely with one another to ensure safe water for Belizeans.

As part of the World Water Day observance, an Essay competition was held in which 24 entries were submitted with Marlena Blake of Gwen Lizarraga winning first prize and a notebook with 12 months of free internet courtesy of BTL. Second place was won by Robin Harold Nightingale of the Toledo Community College who won a tablet and third place was taken by Shantel Petzhold from Gwen Lizarraga who won a cellular phone.

A Poster competition was also done where primary schools submitted over 43 posters. Winning first place was Adrian Bernard Jr. of St. Joseph’s RC school in Belize city who took home a Nexus tablet with 1 year of internet. Second place went to Jennifer Chi of Compassion school in Orange Walk, she took home a tablet and third place went to Koraima Salas of Louisiana Government School in Orange walk who took home a cellular phone.