Kuwait: Water crisis threatens development

NEW YORK: Kuwait affirmed that the world is facing a water crisis that impedes the development process of many countries, which may slow down the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This came in the statement by Kuwait’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Tariq Al-Bannai, before the United Nations Water Conference.

More than a quarter of the world’s population, or two billion people, suffer from access to potable water sources, while 3.6 billion people suffer from the most basic necessities of hygiene, said Al-Bannai. He also noted that according to the international index for disinfection, 44 percent of the world’s population, or nearly half of humanity, deals with unclean wastewater systems, which will impair the quality of life for many peoples.

“As we meet today, 46 years after the last United Nations conference on water, and as all members of the international community, this file must be shed light on – and be given international impetus due to our knowledge of the sensitivity of the water sector, especially those affected by harsh climate challenges,” Al-Bannai said.

Since 2000, the pace of challenges such as floods and torrents has increased by 134 percent, as this conference comes after reaching the midterm of allocating the contract called the Water Work Contract for the years 2018-2028, he added. Ambassador Al-Bannai reaffirmed the solidarity of Kuwait with all friendly countries that have been affected in the past months by climate crisis such as floods, especially the torrential rains that swept through the Sudanese, Pakistani, American and New Zealand lands.

Regarding the water situation in the Middle East, which suffers from scarcity of water resources, Al-Bannai said, “A specialized UN report classified 13 Arab countries out of 19 countries in the world as among the countries most threatened by water security. Al-Bannai also lauded Kuwait’s efforts towards achieving the sixth international goal, saying, the United Nations Committee on Water Resources ranked Kuwait in 2019 among the 20 most efficient countries in water use, which confirms the keenness to implement all international goals and indicators related to efficiency. – KUNA


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