Recognising the Resolution for International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028 http://www.president.tj/en/node/14110
We, the undersigned request that June 22nd be declared by the United Nations, ‘World Bathing Day’ or ‘International Day of Bathing’ for the following reasons:
1. Bathing is an enjoyable, peaceful, social, multicultural and multigenerational activity that forms a common link across diverse cultural, spiritual and religious traditions and plays a critical role in ensuring good health, dignity, confidence and comfort.
2. Bathing includes sanitary practices such as washing the body, face and hair, along with handwashing and cleansing practices after toileting and menstruation that play a vital role in preventing and controlling human disease. Access to bathing is therefore a critical health issue.
3. One third of the people on earth cannot access bathing water. These include the nearly one billion people without access to sufficient drinking water or food, the 2.4 billion people who lack access to bathing water and the 2.4 billion people who suffer from tuberculosis and other endemic diseases.
4. Access to water has a major impact on the health and future prospects of the world’s poor. Every day nearly 1000 children die from water-related disease and women and girls spend 200 million hours simply gathering water. To them water is time, education and hope.
5. The designation of World Bathing Day will be a celebration of water and the diverse rituals and cultural traditions associated with the act of bathing and cleansing. This day will also draw attention to the plight of people for whom bathing is not yet an option and increase our resolve to work towards a time when bathing is possible for all.
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Water Wellness and Wealth
Water is life and when water flows well, wellness and wealth follow. This is known by indigenous cultures who base their lifestyles around the cycles of water. We are water. Water covers 70% of our earth and makes up 70% of our bodies, yet if we were to count molecules, we are 99% water. As Grandma Agnes Baker Pilgrim, Chairperson of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, states: “We are all water babies and water should be everyone’s concern . . . without water we all die. All life dies. Water is precious. We need to give thanks to water”. Water is indeed precious and limited; there are alternatives to fossil fuels, yet there is no alternative to water.
Water is an issue of life or death and with pollution increasing exponentially, clean water is becoming an increasingly rare and diminishing resource.
If the earth were shrunk to the size of a basketball, then all earth’s water would be no bigger than a ping pong ball. Yet, most of this is salty ocean water and all the earth’s fresh water would be no larger than a small marble. The vast majority of this fresh water is either locked up in the ground, or frozen in ice caps, making the amount of liquid fresh water the size of a small mustard seed. This tiny drop bathes the world and this small speck of wetness is shared by you and me and every living thing on earth.
Access to this water is one of the world’s most critical health issues. Bathing and personal hygiene is the most potent measure for the preventing and controlling human disease. Sanitary practices including washing the body, hair and face, along with handwashing and cleansing practices after toileting and menstruation play a critical role in ensuring good health, along with maintaining dignity, confidence and comfort.
One third of the earth’s population does not have access to bathing water and therefore cannot adequately wash off their urine, faeces and menstrual blood. These are the poorest people in the world and include the nearly one billion people without access to sufficient drinking water or food, and the 2.4 billion people who lack access to bathing water. It also includes most of the 2.4 billion people who currently suffer from tuberculosis and other endemic diseases. Access to water has a major impact on the health and future prospects of these people. Everyday nearly 1000 children die from water-related disease and everyday women and girls spend 200 million hours simply gathering water. To them water is time, education and hope. There is now enough technology, resources and wealth to provide water for all. We simply need to engage the global community and muster the awareness, political will, technological solutions and entrepreneurial prowess to address this critical issue.