Share your Water For Life Voice with us!. Share your Water For Life Voice with us!

The ’Water for Life’ Decade ends in 2015. The Decade has seen the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water well in advance of the 2015 deadline. But what does this mean at ground level? Have these advancements improved your daily life? Did your water and sanitation situation improve? Have you benefited from the successes of the Decade?

We welcome your thoughts, messages, photographs, videos and audio related to your water and sanitation situation.

To celebrate the end of the Decade, the United Nations Headquarters in New York will welcome these global voices. Taking place on World Water Day, 22 March 2015, an exhibition is planned to reflect on the successes of the ’Water for Life’ Decade, especially in relation to the Millennium Development Goals, while also looking to the post-2015 development agenda. Your voices will speak directly to UN delegates and guests. We’d like as many voices as possible to reach the delegates who will attend World Water Day in New York!

We would be grateful if you could also help us publicise this campaign and bring together the voices of all those who do not have access to the web.

>> More information about the Water for Life Voices campaign
>> Submit your Voice!


Displaced children fetch water using a submerged hand pump following flooding caused by extremely heavy early rains in their villages. Sudan. UN Photo/Tim McKulka
One for all, all for water

31 July 2014 -Some 200 representatives from national, regional and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), met in Yamassoukro (Cote d’Ivoire) from 30 to 31 July to debate the theme "Access to water for all in Africa". This is the second International Forum of UNESCO’s official NGO partners. It was organized by the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee in cooperation with UNESCO’s Secretariat, and supported by the Cote d’Ivoire government.
>> More information

Drinking clean water. Photo: World Bank/Arne Hoel
UN expert says rights to safe water, sanitation must not remain mirage for millions of Kenyans

30 July 2014 - While Kenyans have rights to safe water and sanitation on paper, it is now time to turn the law into reality for the millions who do not enjoy these fundamental rights, an independent United Nations human rights expert said at the end of her mission to the country. "Kenya is in a critical transitional moment for the provision of water and sanitation," Catarina de Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, said in a statement. "Kenya is often invoked as a model at the international level due to the constitutional recognition of water and sanitation as human rights. However, there is still a long way to go to realize the human rights to water and sanitation for all."
>> Full press release

Photo: European Union/Tanjug
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to help flood-affected Serbian farms rebuild

25 July 2014 - The European Union (EU) will partner with FAO to help small-scale farmers in Serbia recover from the devastating floods of the past spring. An EU grant of EUR 8 million, aimed at restoring the livelihoods of the most vulnerable farming families, has been announced. Extraordinary rainfall in mid-May swelled rivers and provoked flooding and landslides. Damage and losses to the agriculture sector are estimated at EUR 228 million. With EU funding, FAO's emergency response will support around 15 000 households in 24 municipalities with crop and livestock packages - including animal restocking - designed to help farmers re-establish production. "The important thing is to enable people to get back to farming and recover their livelihoods as soon as possible" said Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia.
>> More information

The Human Development Report shows that older generations continue to struggle with illiteracy, while younger ones try to make the leap from primary to secondary schooling. Photo: UNDP Burkina Faso
Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, warns flagship UN report

24 July 2014 - Reducing vulnerability and strengthening resilience are critical to securing human development progress, the United Nations says in a flagship report released on 24 July that examines the risks posed by natural or human-induced disasters and crises and offers ways to tackle them. The 2014 Human Development Report, launched in Tokyo by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), says that 1.2 billion people live on $1.25 a day or less. At the same time, the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index reveals that almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards.
>> Full press release
>> 2014 Human Development Report

Terracing lands helps to reduce soil erosion and run-off, thereby improving farmers' chances of higher yields. Photo: FAO/Thomas Hug
UN agency calls for urgent action to protect global soil from depletion, degradation

24 July 2014 - The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is calling for urgent action to improve the health of the world's limited soil resources to ensure that future generations have enough supplies of food, water and energy. "Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production," Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General, said on 24 July. "Without soils we cannot sustain life on earth and where soil is lost it cannot be renewed on a human timeline."
>> Full press release

Palestinian families take shelter at an UNRWA school in Gaza City (13 July 2014). Photo: Shareef Sarhan/UNRWA
Gaza: UN issues emergency appeal, begins airlift to meet urgent humanitarian needs

21 July 2014 - The United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees has issued an emergency appeal for $60 million (USD) to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza. Refugees include tens of thousands who have fled their homes in the wake of the current Israeli military offensive. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) also noted the number of displaced people seeking safety in its facilities exceeds 84,000 and may soon reach 100,000. The main priority for humanitarian agencies continues to be the provision of food, water, mattresses and hygiene items, as well as fuel for essential water, health and sewage facilities.
>> Full press release

Logo of the International Sava River Basin Commission
Signature of Policy on the Exchange of Hydrological and Meteorological Data and Information in the Sava River Basin

16 July 2014 - Within the 35th Session of the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), the representatives of the national hydrological and meteorological services (NHMSs) of the Sava River Basin countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia) met in Ljubljana (Slovenia) to sign the "Policy on the Exchange of Hydrological and Meteorological Data and Information in the Sava River Basin". The adoption of such a policy presents an opportunity to translate the provisions of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Resolutions 25 (Cg-XIII) and 40 (Cg-XII) on the international exchange of hydrological and meteorological data and information into an operational tool.
>> More information

>> Archived news stories


2014 Stockholm World Water Week: Energy and Water2014 Stockholm World Water Week: Energy and Water
Date: 31 August - 5 September 2014
Place: Stockholm, Sweden
Organizers: Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

The World Water Week will look at energy and water within two principal approaches: the societal opportunities and challenges and the cross cutting issues which include governance, economical and financial impacts and decision making. Many of the UN-Water family members will be present and, as every year, participants are welcome to attend the UN-Water Stakeholder Dialogue, the presentation of next year’s World Water Day campaign and to visit the UN-Water Pavilion.
>> UN-Water Stakeholder Dialogue on ’The Water, Energy and Food-Nexus and the Post-2015 Development Agenda’
>> Seminar on ’World Water Day 2015. Water and sustainable development’
>> More information

Logo of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)Hydrology Water Group Annual meeting
Date: 11 - 16 August 2014
Place: City College of New York, USA
Organizers: World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

This meeting will be the fifth workshop of the WMO/OGC (World Meteorological Organization/Open Geospatial Consortium) Hydrology Domain Working Group. The five day event will be followed by a one day workshop on the Standardisation of Water Data exchange: WaterML 2.0 and beyond. Both events will address several key aspects of standardization including: information modeling and encoding of hydrologic and hydrogeologic features; encoding of hydrologic and hydrogeologic observations; development and representation of community vocabularies of water-related terms; and respective web service interfaces. These events invite hydrology researchers; practitioners; water resource managers; and information system developers interested in standards-based water data exchange and interoperability.
>> More information

WaterLinks LogoWaterLinks Forum 2014
Date: 11-13 August 2014
Place: Manila, The Philippines
Organisers: WaterLinks with the support from Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Water Association (IWA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) among others

This Forum will provide a platform to learn about and debate the most recent developments in solving critical urban water and wastewater efficiency problems. The forum will focus on key issues of growing urban water insecurity in Asia and the Pacific, the need to create new water and promote efficiencies amidst the challenge of climate change.
>> More information

NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee logo2nd International Forum of NGOs: "Access to Water for All in Africa"
Date: 30-31 July 2014
Place: Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire
Organisers: NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Experts, representatives of international NGOs, stakeholders on the ground, men and women from different backgrounds will gather to discuss, exchange, and share their experiences on different aspects of the issues addressed: progress and obstacles, the pollution problem, role of education and traditions, international decisions and their implementation, conflicts, etc. The Forum is intended primarily for NGOs in official partnership with the Organization, but is open also to other organizations and institutions interested in the topics.
>> More information

World Hepatitis Day: Think againWorld Hepatitis Day: Think again
Date: 28 July 2014
Place: Worldwide
Organizer: World Health Organization (WHO)

Every year on 28 July, WHO and partners mark World Hepatitis Day to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. Viral hepatitis affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year. Hepatitis, a broad term for inflammation of the liver, remains largely ignored or unknown and has a number of infectious and non-infectious causes. Among the infectious causes, hepatitis A and hepatitis E are associated with inadequate water supplies and poor sanitation and hygiene. World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity to focus on specific actions and urge policymakers, health workers and the public to 'Think again' about this silent killer.
>> More information

Logo of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)Capacity-building workshop for Central, South and East Asia on ecosystem conservation and restoration to support achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
Date: 14-18 July 2014
Place: Jeju, Republic of Korea
Organiser: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

This workshop focused on ecosystem conservation and restoration to support achievement of the Aichi biodiversity targets. Aichi Biodiversity Targets 5, 11 and 15 set quantitative global targets to reduce the loss of natural habitats, improve protected area networks and restore degraded areas. Through this workshop, the Secretariat planned to offer capacity-building to Parties within an integrated, participatory, approach to promote holistic planning and implementation at the landscape level.
>> More information

>> Archived events stories
2015 ‘Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award. Deadline for application is 15 September 2014

>> More information
>> Application formWord Document
>> Press releasePDF document
>> Frequently Asked Questions on the Award

Get informed!

>> Decade's weekly
The Decade's weekly brings you every week the latest news from the Decade.

UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation
UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation website

>> UN Documentation Centre on Water and Sanitation

Water publications from the UN

>> Bimonthly Publications Review 22 [PDF document. - 1.3 Mb]
UNW-DPAC. June 2014
>> Previous issues

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2014-2024: Decade on Sustainable Energy for All
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2011-2015: Sustainable sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015
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