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World water day

Rachel Siewert 18 Mar 2010

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia) (9.41 am)—I move the motion as amended: That the Senate—

(a)    recognises that 22 March is World Water Day, an initiative of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to draw attention to the plight of the estimated 2.6 billion people lacking access to basic sanitation and the 884 million people who lack access to safe and clean drinking water;
(b)    notes:
  (i)    that the theme for World Water Day 2010 is ‘Clean Water for a Healthy World’, and
  (ii)    the United Nations Children’s Fund/World Health Organization report

Progress on sanitation and drinking-water – 2010 Update, released in the week beginning 14 March 2010, and expresses concern that the sanitation Millennium Development Goal target is likely to be met 30 years and one billion people too late;

(c)    expresses concern that more than 1.4 million children die each year as a result of unclean water and poor sanitation, which is one child every 20 seconds dying from diarrhoea;
(d)    notes that for every dollar invested in sanitation, the United Nations development program estimates $8 is returned in increased productivity;
(e)    acknowledges the important role Australia is playing in delivering improved sanitation to communities in Asia and Africa under the Water and Sanitation Initiative;
(f)    encourages the Australian Government to take a proactive role and send a high level delegation to the Sanitation and Water for All meeting in Washington, DC in April 2010; and
(g) calls on the Australian Government and AusAlD to report publicly on its water and sanitation activities, including reporting on the proportion of development aid spent on sanitation.

Question agreed to.

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