Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) states that clean and accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. Goal 6 also mentions that to improve sanitation and access to drinking water, there needs to be increased investment in management of freshwater ecosystems and sanitation facilities on a local level in several developing countries within Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Southern Asia, Eastern Asia and South-Eastern Asia. Most of the countries in these regions are Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Therefore, NAM recognises the importance of clean water and sanitation for social, economic and environmental development.
Non-Aligned Movement recognises the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life. The Movement has encouraged Member States to undertake initiatives for the realisation of this right. A few examples of recent initiatives undertaken by NAM Member States are mentioned below.
In October 2018, Mozambique launched the Water for Life Program, also referred to as Pravida. The Water for Life Program was launched by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and is intended to rehabilitate and expand water systems in towns and cities across the country, including the Greater Maputo region, and cities such as Beira, Pemba, Nacala, and Cuamba. The program is intended to have multiplier effects on health, education and irrigation. In the health sector, the program aims at improving the supply of clean drinking water to reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases. In agriculture, the program aims at guaranteeing the irrigation of more than 1,800 hectares of crops, and provide drinking water for more than 73,000 head of livestock, while in education it is expected that the programme will not only provide drinking water to schools, but will also cut the distance pupils (mostly girls) have to walk in order to obtain water for their households. According to Nyusi, the Water for Life Program aims to provide good quality water available to meet the challenges of the sustainable socio-economic development of Mozambique.
In Peru, the Housing, Construction, and Sanitation Ministry (MVCS) has undertaken initiatives for ensuring clean drinking water and sanitation. One such initiative is “When the community executes: citizen participation and community empowerment in water and sanitation” under which rural populations’ organized work to complete drinking water and sanitation projects in High-Andean areas. For the implementation of this initiative, MVCS has established the National Rural Sanitation Program (PNSR). This has benefited over 41,000 rural people in Huancavelica, Ayacucho, Apurimac, Cusco, and Puno regions of the country. The success story of the MVCS initiative can be gauged from the fact that it is one of the five finalists for the first edition of the Superheroes of Development Award organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). It may be mentioned here that the Superheroes of Development Award recognizes valuable lessons learned by executing agencies that have successfully addressed or pre-empted challenges that emerge during the execution of development projects. The award is a part of an effort to improve the performance of IDB-financed projects through systematic learning and knowledge sharing in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In India, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has launched the Swajal Scheme. Swajal schemes in 115 aspirational districts of the country will involve an outlay of Rs 700 crores through flexi-funds under the existing budget of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). These schemes will aim to provide villages with piped water supply powered by solar energy. The scheme will train hundreds of rural technicians for operation and maintenance of Swajal units. As part of the scheme, Rs.1000 crores will be earmarked for addressing the drinking water needs of 27,544 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations of the country.