São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe – In the spirit of “Integrated Water Resources Management”, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Environment of São Tomé and Príncipe has integrated celebrations for the International Day of Forest (21 March), the World Water Day (22 March) and the World Meteorological Day (23 March) into a one week long celebration to raise awareness about the water cycle and its importance for the country.
Through the establishment of a national commission, the different ministries and departments in charge of the three international days have built synergies and a common plan of action, as well as common messaging to maximise the impact of the week long celebration.
Different types of activities (such as a photography competition, lectures in schools, public celebrations and three planting ceremonies) will be organised throughout the island from 15 March and will be targeting different type of audiences. The activities will be supported by the broadcasting of documentaries and radio programmes on national channels highlighting different aspects of the water cycle and the need to manage watersheds in an integrated manner to secure water resources for the future generations.
The programme of the week is designed to enable individuals and local communities to understand the importance of water availability for human well-being, for social and economic benefits, and for the environment. It will also highlight and promote actions that contribute to balancing the cycle of water and raise awareness about the threats to water availability/quality by encouraging individuals and communities to adopt practices to reduce contamination and conserve their water resources.
With the help of the IWRM AIO SIDS project, the government of São Tomé and Príncipe recently kick started the process of reforming its national institutions and policies in a bid to increase coordination, stakeholder participation and efficiency in the field of water and wastewater resources management at national level.
For more information about the celebration contact: GeraldineD@unops.org