‘The Nexus between ‘Water and Jobs’
Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself. It is vital for reducing the global burden of disease and improving the health, welfare and productivity of populations. It is central to the production and preservation of a host of benefits and services for people. Water is also at the heart of adaptation to climate change, serving as the crucial link between the climate system, human society and the environment.
Today, almost half of the world’s workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labour rights. The theme in 2016 – water and jobs (which is further interpreted as “better water, better jobs”) – is focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods – and even transform societies and economies.
In addition, it will provide an important opportunity to consolidate and build upon the previous World Water Days to highlight water’s role in the sustainable development agenda through jobs creation.
The UN system – working closely with its Member States and other relevant stakeholders – is collectively bringing its attention to the water-jobs nexus, particularly addressing inequities, especially for the ‘bottom billion’ who live in slums and impoverished rural areas and survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services. It also aims to facilitate the development of policies and crosscutting frameworks that bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to sustainable water use and job security.
Just as the international agencies and experts agreed that access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services is vital to human health, the Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu (FNSE) recently inaugurated a committee on the development of a blue print and action plan to strengthen the river basin development authorities in the country.
He said there was the need for a special intervention on Nigeria’s water supply challenge.
It is believed that this is part of efforts to increase the number of the citizens that have access to safe water, to avoid the risk of infectious diseases and premature death.
According to Adamu, Nigeria cannot achieve much in agriculture without managing its water resources. “Water and agriculture are interrelated, without water; Nigeria cannot meet the food security goal and that is why this administration will carry out quick win projects that will make water available for all Nigerians.