Walk highlights water challenges
By Lakshmi Kothaneth — MUSCAT: March 20 – Do What you can, do it with others, and do it with passion said Guy Ryder, Chair of UN Water, on the power of individuals to change the world as the world gets ready to observe World Water Day. Two Omani walkers are doing just that. They have walked before from Muscat to Nizwa to celebrate Oman’s 46th National Day and many other occasions previously and now they are out once again to convey a message to the public and that is to care for water. The World Water Day is observed on March 22nd every year. This year the theme is Wastewater. Nawaf Salem al Suleimani and Halmi Hilal al Kindy began their journey from Hotel Jabal Sifa.
“We began from there because the hotel has a plant for wastewater. We walked from Sifa to Qantab the first day and camped there. Halmi is a walker and for him it is a hobby but we always do it for a cause. We want people to understand the value of water. This is our message,” said Nawaf.
When Observer caught up with them they had already covered 50 kms and reached Muttrah and was heading next to Bausher. In Muscat they visited Al Saidiya School and interacted with the students. The three-day walk will eventually take them to reach Al Hail where the MEDRC Water Research is located.
“People are not caring for water. Without water there is no life. People get stressed about oil but we do not realize that without water there is no petrol. As humans we have water in us. Let us take care of water and let us not play with it,” pointed out Halmi.
While the duo continue their journey, there are over 663 million people in the world living without a safe water supply close to home. The hassles of waiting in long lines, walking great distance to the water source and impact of using contaminated water are all a reality in many countries.
In Oman it is the desalination technology that relieves the pressure from the underground water to meet the demands. The duo’s initiative is being supported by Gloria Jean’s to raise awareness about water scarcity and the best ways of using its resources.
According to the UN, “The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015 include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.”
It was in 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day.