WATER has been on earth longer than MAN. Called the Source of Life, it nourishes everything that it touches: the earth, the plants, the animals, man. Water is a gift to man, who needs it more than it needs him. Unfortunately, man has done, through time, thoughtless and selfish acts that abuse water excessively and unsustainably that, if unabated, will eventually lead to man’s own destruction.
These destructive acts of man have rendered the state of WATER today—from its supply and conservation to its drinkability and sanitation—a global concern. Nearly a million deaths a year are attributed to unclean WATER as well as 1.5 percent of the global burden of disease. The stark reality, however, is that over 780 million people still have no access to clean water and nearly 1.9 billion lack adequate sanitation.
Against this backdrop, the 2016 Presidential Conference on WASH in Schools (with emphasis on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) on 18-19 March 2016 in Manila, Philippines finds its relevance as well as its urgency. Spearheaded by Rotary International, it will bring together stakeholders in this global concern—from the government and private sectors to the non-governmental and volunteer organizations in the Philippines and other Asian countries.
WcP Pen Cuya, AG Liza Pineda and other rotarians with Rotary President for RY 2015-2016 K.R. “RAVI” RAVINDRAN