IUCN, in partnership with the Otuke district and GWI partners in Uganda, joined the rest of the world to celebrate world water day, under the theme “The World Walks for Water”.
IUCN mobilized over 2,500 people and was joined by the Ugandan Police Band to walk for water, demanding concrete action from government to conserve water and its resources. The walking group also demanded water users to effectively use, protect and manage water resources.
The six kilometer walk attracted a wide variety of participants, including the district’s local government staff, political leaders, schoolchildren, communities and community leaders. The walk created a platform to raise awareness about current water challenges in the district and advocate for government action to address the challenges.
The event was officiated by the Otuke District Commissioner, Mr. Francis Otiti who pledged continued support from the central government and local government. He recognized the relevance of the campaign in enhancing people’s appreciation for water and wetlands and hence creating change makers who march in solidarity for a safer water future.
“I am happy to announce my support to the water and wetland conservation campaign, I also commend the efforts of IUCN and the Global Water Initiative partners in Uganda for continuously supporting the Otuke district’s local government in highlighting the water crisis, which does not affect only Otuke but Uganda and the whole world. I urge for political action to combat this crisis”, said Otiti.
It was observed that despite the tremendous achievements made by the district for the past three years in improving water and sanitation coverage, more effort is still needed to empower local communities to effectively manage their water resources. Given the solidarity promoted through the Walk for Water campaign, stakeholders were called upon to work with government, to ensure adequate and sufficient water supply for all. During the campaign, communities were encouraged to stop cutting trees for charcoal burning and encroachment of river banks for rice growing.
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