KARACHI: The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in close collaboration with the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Girls Sports Society, organised a football tournament in Karachi as part of their awareness campaign with the youth of the country to raise voice for better water, better jobs in celebration of the World Water Day 2016 and its theme “Water and Jobs”.
According to a press release by United Nations, the tournament was an excellent platform to motivate the young footballers from IBA, NUST, IoBM, and Sir Syed University to raise their voice for better water, better jobs. NUST and Sir Syed University reached the finals where Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) defeated National University of Science and Technology (NUST) PNEC and claimed the prize.
A formal dinner for the finalists was arranged and they were sensitized regarding the importance of World Water Day and its message and were urged to take measures in their personal capacity and as an institution.
“Meanwhile, a selfie contest was initiated for the wider audience to give social media coverage to the cause through which the students demonstrated their support by using the exclusive hashtag (mention hashtag) for the event. Surveys were also conducted before and after the matches to gauge the willingness of the young people to pay for safe drinking water and various speeches were delivered to disseminate the World Water Day messages,” the release stated.
A representative from UN-Habitat said that, “provision of safe drinking water is Sustainable Development Goal 6 and it is a core part of UN-Habitat’s mandate. Access to water is extremely significant, but the quality of water cannot be ignored. It must be ensured that accessible water meets safety standards and does not negatively impact the lives of the people. UN-Habitat Pakistan has implemented various projects for water, sanitation, and hygiene and continues to spend time, effort, and resources to spread awareness and bring a positive change in the lives of the Pakistani people.”
Ms. Faiza Shafqat, Manager IBA Girls Sports Society, while commenting about the World Water Day said, “It is extremely critical that the youth of Pakistan realize the issue of unavailability of safe drinking water as they can be the catalysts in this awareness movement to spread the message to a wider community. I can already think of ways in which we can contribute to the water industry and improve conditions for people whose lives depend on it, the youth has the power to not just trigger change, but ensure its effective delivery.”
World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water related issues, be inspired to tell others, and take action to make a difference. Water for Pakistan Football Tournament was a platform to engage youth to serve as facilitators in spreading awareness about the importance of safe drinking water and willingness to pay for it.