Water is...time to be a child

29.08.2016 09:54


Access to clean water is about more than survival: It is about giving kids the timethey need to be children – to learn, play and be happy

For children to enjoy this precious time, families need access to safe water close to where they live.

Around the world, children spend too much of their time collecting water or searching for a toilet. Globally, women and girls collectively spend about 200 million hours a day gathering water. [i] Women and girls without toilets collectively spend around 266 million hours a day trying to find a place to go.[ii]

Lack of access to safe water and sanitation also puts children’s health at risk. When their time is hijacked by illness or water collection, children do not have time to do things that contribute to their overall development and well-being. These things include attending school, playing with their friends, helping out around the house or simply being children.

The new Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for water and sanitation, Goal 6, calls for universal access to safe drinking water. The first step is to provide everyone with basic water service within a 30-minute round trip from their homes. The long-term goal is to make sure everyone has safe water in their homes.[iii]

For World Water Week 2016, 28 August – 2 September, UNICEF will highlight the importance of reducing the amount of time children spend collecting water or looking for toilets. The goal of the week is to celebrate all the things children could do with their time if they all had access to safe water and sanitation close to their homes: Learn, play and be happy.

The theme is #WaterIs … time. It links time to the hashtag #WaterIs, which is used on social media around the world to illustrate the meaning of water in people’s lives. For children who spend precious hours collecting water or searching for a toilet, water is time.

[i] UNESCO and World Water Assessment Programme, Water for Women report 2015: Water for Women. Every Woman Counts, 2015. http://www.unwater.org/fileadmin/user_upload/worldwaterday2015/docs/Water%20For%20Women.pdf

[ii] WaterAid, Briefing note – 1 in 3 women lack access to safe toilets, 2012

[iii] UNICEF, WHO, Joint Monitoring Programme 2015, WASH Post-2015 Proposed Indicators for drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, 2015

All Children Have Rights. Everyone Can Help

20.11.2006 in Projects

With the special participation of Dimitar Berbatov, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, the campaign is launched on 20 November ...

20 years The Convention on the Rights of the Child

20.11.2009 in Projects

"The Convention on the Rights of the Child stands as a universal standard for building a better world - a world in ...

MISSION: Every Child

12.11.2013 in Projects

Stars will perform for “Mission: every child” in support of ...

There are children who don`t dream of toys

06.12.2013 in Projects

Santa Claus can`t fulfill their wishes on his ...

Together from kindergarten

22.10.2015 in Projects

UNICEF and bTV launched a new social campaign on children with specific ...

Universal Children’s Day: Why fair matters

11.12.2015 in Projects

UNICEF Ambassadors Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson, Sir Roger Moore, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Priyanka Chopra, Novak Djokovic, ...

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.