Hague: The Un-Water “Water for Life” Best Practices Award is a UN Initiative to recognize the best water management, participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices across the Globe.
Divided into two categories the first is for Water Management Practices where as the second category award recognizes participatory communication and awareness raising practices.
This year during the World Water Day 2013 Official Ceremony held in Hague, Netherlands the award for Category 1 i-e best water management practice was awarded to Japan on implementation of an extensive project in the city of Kumamoto. Whereas, Republic of Moldova won the Category 2 award for best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practice for its project “Water and sanitation for all”.
Japan and Moldova were selected from a total of 46 applicants for the award, where Japan faced heavy competition with 33 other applicants for the category one where as Moldova competed with 11 participants. Like every year this year’s participants also comprise of projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania. The Secretariat for the award is run under the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC).
Finalist candidates in category 1 include the 2nd ranked project “Living Lakes”, which focuses on the exchange of experience and knowledge regarding the sustainable management of lakes and wetlands, and the 3rd ranked project TNDRIP “Farmer Participatory Capacity Building Program for Drip Irrigation Management” which trained 1,000 farmers from across 100 villages in drip irrigation in Tamil Nadu, India, from 2009 to 2012.
Kumamoto City project would ensure high quality water from the tap to a city of 730,000 citizens where the only source of water is ground water. Ground water is now managed through artificial groundwater recharge system using abandoned paddies and protected watershed forests. Kumamoto has been striving to ensure availability of clean water for their future generations and the achieved system in Kumamoto is truly a combination of “Act of God” i-e the natural system of Mt. Aso and the local human activity.
In category 2, finalist candidates include the 2nd ranked initiative “Democratization of Water Management: Promoting community collaborative water management between government officers and villagers” implemented in Tamil Nadu, India, and aimed at improving water service delivery and achieving sustainable and equitable water supply by changing the perspectives and behaviors of government officers in the water sector and facilitating a collaborative relationship between these officers and the communities they served, and the 3rd ranked project “Health Village: WASH Monitoring Perspective” aimed at reducing poverty in different villages in Bangladesh through community empowerment, increased access to and use of safe water and sanitation services and improved hygiene practices for women and marginalized people.
The “Water and sanitation for All” project by Republic of Moldova is aimed at improving the situation in rural Moldova by mobilizing citizens and the authorities to realize and respect the right to access safe water and sanitation through the sustainable management of local resources. The Republic of Moldova remains one the poorest countries in Europe. According to recent studies, in 2006, only 15% of the rural population in the Republic of Moldova had a house connection for drinking water, and only 55% of the population living in rural areas had access to basic sanitation.
These prestigious UN Water Awards promote efforts for the fulfillment of International Commitments made for ensuring long term sustainable management of water resources and achievement of goals and target approved in this regard. The special topic for 2013 awards was “Water cooperation”.