340,000 workers die annually over inadequate water supply, sanitation – ILO

340,000 workers die annually over inadequate water supply, sanitation – ILO
March 22 15:17 2016

Over 340,000 workers die every year because of inadequate water supply and sanitation, the International Labour Organisation, said on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion of the celebration of World Water Day 2016 at the Yar’adua Centre in Abuja, Director of ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Mr Dennis Zulu livelihoods of many workers such as fishermen, depend on the quality of the freshwater.

“The quantity and the quality of water has a direct impact on workers lives and health. Every year, over 340,000 workers die because of inadequate water supply and sanitation. The livelihoods of many workers such as fishermen, depend on the quality of the freshwater. A farmer’s job depends on his or her ability to manage the available freshwater.

“Water can contribute to a greener economy and sustainable development. For this to happen, we need more workers qualified to realize the potential of new and green technologies. We need those workers to have decent work that provides dignity, equality, safety and a fair income.

“The fact is that water is work – it requires workers for its safe and clean delivery and at the same time it can create work and improve conditions of work. If the 2030 Agenda is to be a success and we are to build together a sustainable future, we must ensure that work in water is decent and that the water we all rely on is safe.

“World Water Day is a great opportunity for all the relevant stakeholders including the Government at all levels, Communities, UN agencies, International development partners, non-governmental organizations, enterprises, unions and citizens to come together to make a call for better water and better jobs,” he said.

Mr. Zulu said access to water underpins all efforts towards the achievement of sustainable development as recently stated in Sustainable Development Goal no 6 that sets out to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

“However, what is not so often said is that the availability and sustainable management of water has a clear and direct link with the creation of quality jobs. This year’s World Water Day therefore provides a unique opportunity to highlight this relationship, under the 2016 theme “Water and jobs,” he said.