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2024 World Water Day: Peace Eludes A World Where Humanity Thirsts For Water – By Olusola Ajiboye

A slogan has become so catchy, “water, water, everywhere, but not available to drink,”. Half of plant Earth is covered in waters, but it is so intriguing that humans roam thousands of kilometers in search of water for safety and survival.

Climates, vegetation and soils with different impacts on the well-being and survival of man are determined by quality water supply. Men also depend on water to design strategies that preserve his environment and make it responsive to his needs and safety.

Like other natural resources commanding attention and actions of man, water is very important and often elicits interest for control and domination among nations.

The wealth of Nations are largely domiciled in vast coastlines and territorial waters, which from time immemorial, have been explored for billions of resources that now classify countries in the league of the rich and the powerful.

Countries like France, United Kingdom, Portugal and Russia which dictated the balance of power in the first and second world war rested on their naval powers to determine the course of the wars.
As water is a catalyst for Agriculture, navigation and commerce, people unite around usage and benefits of water to lay foundations for a stable and prosperous tomorrow. Human and societal activities that revolve round availability, affordability and quality water, are so enormous that glitches in water supply are potential dangers to humanity and peaceful co-existence which even the eco-system cannot ignore.

Napoleon Bonarparte, the great French Emperor who instigated the Napoleonic wars, referred to by historians as equivalent of worldwars, had his eyes fixed on how he would dislodge and crush the British Marine power. If Napoleon was unsatisfied with his control of vast land territories that spread from Europe to Mexandria but wanted to be like Britain, the master of the sea; it simply bore eloquent testimony to how water is a potent instrument of war and peace. Peace is eluding several nations today as world powers engage in wars of attrition for control of marine resources.

Water for peace, the theme of the year 2024 water Day is a direct response to the capacity of Nations, to harness water and its abundant resources to build strong socio-economic, diplomatic and political alliances to aid quests for peace among Nations angling for power and relevance.

Over two point two (2.2) billion peoples, mostly in developing Nations live without access to safe water. This is a big threat to global health and peace. Global water crisis has brought epidemics of monumental proportions and heightened mortality among children and poor peoples. The universal cry for water is anchored on the imperatives of peace across Nations of the world.

It is time to make peace with nature and the planet Earth in such ways that the equilibrium between man and the Eco-system is not negatively affected. WASH is a cliché, coined by the United Nations International Children’s fund – UNICEF, wrapped around a commitment to the uplift and sustenance of a wholesome environment.

Osun State, Southwest Nigeria is an active participant in this global Health push on safe-water. The WASH programme, according to Rural water and Environmental sanitation Agency – RUWESA, provides the tools expected to help save lives and bring stability to conflicts and fragile zones of the world, through campaigns on water, sanitation and hygiene.

The Agency according to its political head and careerists is sensitive to its statutory and constitutional responsibilities of maintaining hygienic and safe environment for indigenes and residents of the state. The Agency believes that sustained campaigns and public enlightenment on clean water supply are key to personal and group health.

The Special Adviser on RUWESA, Lanre Odelade emphasized the position of Osun State government to promote public health, using portable water supply as a major driving valve.
“Water, and in this instance, portable water, plays a key role in the human body and effective functioning of its organs, including bringing nutrients to cells, getting rid of wastes, protecting joints and maintain body temperatures.” He added.

RUWESA thus marked the 2024 world water day convinced, as declared by the General Manager of the Agency Ibidun Odetola that, the day will not be a flash in the pan but “an event that will continuously complement Osun State Government policy on safe environment for man, animals and plants within the borders of the state through available, affordable and quality water for domestic and industrial usage.”

Since 1993, the World Water Day is celebrated every twenty-second (22nd) Day of March to highlight the importance of fresh water for a stable, healthy and peaceful world. Indications are that Osun State is prepared to sustain this move, designed by the United Nations to bring peace to the World through safe water.

Olusola Ajiboye is a media consultant, based in Osogbo, Southwest Nigeria.

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