March 22nd is World Water Day. It is a day for celebrating water and raising awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. A key focus of World Water Day is supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and sanitation for all by 2030.
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Valuing Water”, aiming to enhance understanding of how water is valued by different people across different contexts. All around the world, societies attempt to balance the growing demands on water resources by various parties, often having competing demands. However, the sad reality is that the interests of many people are often not considered.
How water is managed and shared is determined by how we value it. Overlooking these values risks the mismanagement of our water resources, which are finite and irreplaceable.
Many of us in the Maldives, especially those who live in urban areas such as Male’, may not have had to face a water shortage in our lives. When we turn on our tap, the water flows. Yet it is not uncommon for people to experience water-related issues, including significant increases in water bills, leaks, odours, etc. The Male’ Water Crisis of 2014 was also a harsh reminder of how vulnerable this access to water can be, even in the urban capital. It was a reminder of how easily we could lose access to a safe drinking water supply if it is not secure or backed up by other sources.
Watercare’s World Water Day Giveaway: Let us pay your water bill(s)
In celebration of World Water Day 2021, we at Watercare will be using our platform to highlight the various water-related issues faced within our community. We invite all Maldivian residents to participate in an Instagram giveaway (@watercaremv) to share their experiences of water-related problems. At the end of the giveaway, we will be selecting five winners, who will each receive MVR 1000 that they can use to pay their water bill(s). Through this, we hope to give back directly to a few individuals in our community and support them in accessing water in celebration of World Water Day.
Water is a human right, but why do we have to pay for it?
Water is definitely a human right. Without it, we would not survive. Unfortunately, due to finite resources and high demand, freshwater is limited. We must acknowledge the resources, manpower and work that goes into assuring water supply to many communities, including the Maldives. Hence, it is unrealistic to supply this water to us for free. However, we believe that because water is a human right, no individual or company should receive undue profit from it. Hence, regulation of the sector is necessary. We hope that ratification of the Utility Regulatory Authority Act and the subsequent establishment of a Utility Regulatory Authority in the Maldives is the much-needed step towards increased affordability of water in the country.
Who we are
Watercare is a Maldivian Social Enterprise, registered as an NGO. Our purpose is to increase research-based water awareness and conduct advocacy on water, sanitation and hygiene. We are the national CSO focal point of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), a global partnership to achieve universal access to clean water and adequate sanitation.
To learn more about our work, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @watercare