Monday, 21 March 2011

The World Walks for Water in Delhi

1750 people have taken part in a Walk for Water in Delhi, India organized by the NGO Forum for Organised Resource Conservation and Enhancement (FORCE) and WaterAid India. They were joined by the Indian Minister of Water Resources, Salman Khurshid.

FORCE, Delhi, India
Jyoti Sharma, President, FORCE (pictured, second left). Photo credit: 
In India there are vast numbers of people without sanitation and water. Just 15% of the rural population has access to a toilet - meaning that some 21 million Indians need to gain access to basic sanitation every year if the Millennium Development Goal of just halving the proportion of people without sanitation is to be met. This crisis also has a severe affect on the developing economy of India; research last year showed inadequate sanitation costs India US$ 53.8 billion, which is equivalent to 6.4 percent of India’s GDP in 2006. Two-fifths or close to 55 million rural households in India do not have access to the sources of safe drinking water within their premises. 38 million people are affected by waterborne diseases every year leading to a loss of 73 million working days each year.

FORCE, Delhi, India
Minister of Water Resources, Salman Khurshid (pictured) attended and was lobbied by campaigners. Photo credit: 
Walk For Water in Delhi was aimed at inducing a shift in governmental policy towards planning for water self sufficiency at a micro level. Speaking at the event, Salman Khurshid said “I look forward to a time 5 years from now, when Delhi will be the first Indian city to become totally Water Secure.”

The organiser Jyoti Sharma the President of FORCE said that “Delhi is the greenest city in the country [almost 30% green cover] with the second highest per capita income and educated population in any city in the country. With all these assets, there is no reason why we should not be able to reduce our dependence on outside sources of water.

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