Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday reiterated her call to create a global fund to support research work on water and innovation as well as technology transfer for achieving sustainable development goals in the area of water resources and management.
“We value water as rights and water ensures human dignity. So, we envision a water secure world for all,” she told the 4th meeting of the High-Level Panel on Water on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly here this morning.
Sheikh Hasina added: “We must not forget the critical and connecting roles of water with other SDGs, particularly for health, agriculture, industry, infrastructure and cities.”
“Let’s explore all possible platforms, in our respective regions and at the global level, to ensure water governance and continue our best attention to water,” she said.
The prime minister said: “The water we need for our survival is a finite resource for the global commons.
In addition to creating new narratives and renewed values on water, we need to invest heavily in resilient and innovative water infrastructures.”
Highlighting Bangladesh’s success in ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation for all, Sheikh Hasina said in a country of more than 160 million people, nearly everyone can access safe drinking water. “Now, our target is to ensure direct access to safe drinking water for all by 2020.”
She said her government has undertaken projects for re-excavating big ponds, ditches, and water reservoirs and ensuring their water filtration systems and protection from pollution and surface discharge to increase the sustainable use of surface water.
Pointing out her government’s priority to WASH programme in schools, Sheikh Hasina said the government believes that its investment for the younger generations will promote education, who will secure the country’s future.
“We also require a fresh focus on the impacts of climate change and the intensity of water-related disasters such as floods, draughts, and cyclones. We need long-term strategies to tackle these challenges,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the high-level panel on water will soon complete its term and the key legacy of the panel will continue as country-led initiatives at diverse levels.
“The outcome package will also be our guide for the next hard task: how to get other governments and leaders involved for meaningful water-actions,” she added.