Minister for Water Supply, Mani Chandra Thapa, has said water-related goals and targets are key foundations for quality health, poverty eradication, renewable energy, equal access to education, gender equality and human rights,
In his virtual address to the High-level Meeting on the ‘Implementation of the Water-related Goals and Targets of the 2030 Agenda’ in New York on March 22, the Minister said, ''Currently, over 90% of people of Nepal have access to drinking water, while about 99% have access to basic sanitation facilities.''
This is informed by the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations, New York.
Describing water and sanitation as of paramount importance to all living beings, he said the SDG 6 was essential enabler to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
''Nepal prioritizes access to clean water and sanitation as fundamental services for people,'' he said, adding that water and sanitation related goals and targets had been integrated in periodic plans, Road Map to SDGs and the WASH Sector Development Plan (2016-2030), which were being implemented to ensure access to safe, adequate, and affordable drinking water and sanitation services to all by 2030.
Stating that over 2.2 billion people had still no access to safely managed drinking water and 4.2 billion people lacked proper sanitation in the world, he said, ''Water and sanitation-related stresses coupled with the crises such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have further worsened the woes, which is more so in the poorest and most vulnerable countries.''
He apprised the session Nepal’s high mountains are water towers and custodians of ecosystems and the rivers emanating from them travel downstream unfolding an intrinsic hydrological link that binds over 1.5 billion people living in the South Asia.
''We are deeply concerned about the erosion of the health of our high mountains and hydro-scapes due to its organic link with biodiversity and the sea-level rise. This must stop. We call for an urgent global action to address this problem,'' he said.
He further said Nepal was effortful to address all forms of water pollution, prevent water-related disasters, and build resilience against climate change and graduate from the status of LDC to realize our national vision: ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’.
''Nepal commends the UN initiatives such as Water for Sustainable Development and SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework and also underscores that climate action is critical to mitigate the adverse impacts on the SDG 6,'' the Minister added.
He apprised the session that Nepal was committed to intensifying its efforts to achieve the SDG 6 related goal and targets and looked forward to working with all partners in the days ahead.
Eighty six people including heads-of-the-states/government chiefs of six countries, and ministers from 58 countries participated in the meeting.
Source: National News Agency Nepal