BEIRUT: As a part of its World Water Day celebrations, the United Nations Development Program launched Friday the “Water Education Package,” which seeks to teach young people about the importance of water management and conservation.
“There is almost nothing more fundamental to our existence than water,” said UNDP resident representative Robert Watkins, addressing an audience gathered at UNESCO Palace.
“Our limited water resources are suffering from rapidly increasing pressures across all sectors, from water pollution, to climate change and unsustainable water management practices.”
In keeping with the theme of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation, the education package was launched under the patronage of the Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil, in cooperation with the Lebanese Center for Water Management and Conservation.
The package includes a CD and several user-friendly brochures for children between the ages of 7 and 10. The information about water conservation habits is available in Arabic, English and French.
“It is often said that the conflicts of the future may center more on shortages of water rather than on fossil fuels, land or other scarce resources ... Lebanon is no exception to this global rule,” Watkins added.
“The national water sector strategy developed by the Energy [and Water] Ministry and approved by the [Cabinet] last year sets out a clear road map for enhancing cooperation. [The project] takes action to ensure that Lebanese households have better, more sustainable access to the water they need without adding additional stress on the country’s limited supply,” he said.
“The package targets young children,” said Zahida Darwiche Jabbour, the head of Lebanon’s UNESCO Committee, said the package’s objective is to teach youngsters about “the dangers of unsustainable water management practices and to foster water conservation habits.”
Ziyad Khayyat, project manager at the Center for Water Management and Conversation, said “the education package is a fun way for students to learn, away from their regular curriculums.”
“Elementary schools willing to participate will teach this package to their students, and then evaluate the students’ response to this campaign,” he added.