Saturday 21st September 2019
Saturday, 21st of September 2019
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Rivers’ Day: Celebrating women’s role in protecting rivers

The 22nd annual International Day of Action for Rivers will take place on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Besides celebrating life-giving waters, the world will use the occasion to honour all those who have worked hard to ensure that the rivers continue to flow.

river-niger
There are fears that the River Niger is drying up. Observers are concerned that many of the world’s rivers face severe and increasing threats associated with climate change, pollution, and industrial development

According to International Rivers, the International Day of Action for Rivers is a day dedicated to solidarity – when diverse communities around the world come together with one voice to say that rivers matter.

“That communities having access to clean and flowing water matters. That everyone should have a say in decisions that affect their water and their lives. That it’s our time to stand up for these rights, now more than ever,” says Kate Horner of International Rivers.

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She adds that this year’s Day of Action for Rivers theme is in celebration of the role of women in protecting and managing rivers.

“Women are often the primary users of water in their households and communities. Tasked with securing, maintaining, and using water resources in agriculture, fisheries, forest and land management, women sustain life through their relationships to water. Despite this, women are far less represented in decisions about how water and rivers are managed and developed. Deep inequalities persist, with men holding most of the decision-making power and influence,” she notes.

International Rivers is working to ignite and promote a global movement of women water leaders. The movement came together for the first time at the Women and Rivers Congress, which held from March 6 to 10.

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In Nigeria, the River Ethiope Trust Foundation (RETFON) will be marking the International Day of Action for Rivers via a lecture to be delivered by on Wednesday, March 20 to the Rivers State Chapter of the Nigeria Environmental Society (NES) in Port Harcourt.

Dafe Irikefe, the RETFON CEO / Founder, says the lecture is titled: “Achieving Legal Rights for River Ethiope: The Journey so far.”

“March 14 is one day each year when we really feel – and see – our strength and solidarity as a movement. We defend many different rivers, but we know that at heart, it’s all the same struggle. We’re proud to be in it with you,” adds Horner.

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