In celebration of World Water Day, the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan renewed its commitment to improve access to water and sanitation for those in need. Water is a basic requirement for life, yet a growing global population promises increasing demands on limited water resources and competition among users.
In 1992, in recognition of the significance of this vital resource, the UN General Assembly designated March 22 of each year as World Water Day. In 2000 at the Millennium Summit, all 191 United Nations Member States agreed to the Millennium Development Goals, which include reducing by one-half the proportion of our global population who live without access to safe drinking water by 2015 -- the year designated to mark the end of the International Decade for Action: “Water for Life.”
Following the Millennium Development Goals and recognizing the importance of water resources in Afghanistan, the U.S. Government has been developing water-related project activities to increase water supply to populations in both rural and urban areas, and to strengthen local capacity for water management. Through USAID's Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation project, the U.S. Government is building the capacity of the Afghan government and local communities to promote hygienic behavior, provide more sources of clean water, and improve household sanitation.
USAID's Afghanistan Water, Agriculture, and Technology Transfer project improves community and farm management of the supply and demand for irrigation water resources, increases agricultural productivity through appropriate agricultural and irrigation technology, and provides technical assistance and training to increase the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock to provide services to rural farmers. The U.S. Government is also dedicated to strengthening the Afghan government's ability to ensure an adequate water supply to meet current and future water demands of Kabul City's quickly growing population.
Commemorating World Water Day, U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry said, "I look forward to our continued partnership with the people of Afghanistan to ensure that no child dies from a preventable water-related disease, that no family goes hungry because they can't grow the food they need to survive, and that those who are most in need have access to water -- the most precious element of life."
The U.S. Embassy embraces the occasion of World Water Day and acknowledges the importance of clean and safe water as a crucial element to the health, safety, and security of a successful and self-sustaining Afghanistan.