Two hinterland students in delegation to attend World Water Forum in Japan
Stabroek News
March 13, 2003

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Two hinterland students will be in the Guyana delegation to Japan for the Third World Water Forum which will be held under the theme 'Addressing Water Issues through Ownership and Partnership for Sustainable Development' from next Tuesday to Saturday.

According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), the forum will benefit Guyana significantly, especially the modernization aspect of the water sector.

Minister of Housing and Water Shaik Baksh is heading the delegation which will include Chairman of Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) William Wilson, and Charles Holmes. The delegation, including the two students, paid a courtesy call on President Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday at the Office of the President.

The two students, Laureen Cornelius of Santa Rosa Primary School in Region One (Barima/Waini) and Abraham Realine of Aishalton Secondary School in Region Nine (Upper Takatu/Upper Essequibo) were selected to attend the Children's Water and Sanitation Conference.

They became qualified to represent Guyana after submitting entries to an essay competition on 'What can our student government do to help promote good hygiene and water practices in our schools and community,' GINA reported.

The agency said the essays were judged on the students' understanding of water and health issues, the role of the student government, community needs, creativity, proposed actions and the ability to communicate and articulate ideas.

The Japanese and Dutch governments in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are funding the trip for the two students.

GINA quoted Baksh as saying that "Water will be a critical issue in the world during the 21st century and all countries are collaborating and engaging in intense discussions to ensure that this resource is shared among nations." He added that the World Water Forum is a ministerial conference and five major areas will be discussed. Those areas include safe drinking water and sanitation, water for food and rural development, water pollution prevention and ecosystem conservation, disaster mitigation and risk management, water resources management and benefit-sharing.

The minister said further that the areas on the agenda are key issues for the various governments that will be represented to discuss and formulate a ministerial declaration at the end of the forum. He noted also that the issues on the agenda are key areas that Guyana will have to address.

Baksh disclosed also that steps will be taken to establish a National Water Council through a National Water Policy to manage the resource, GINA said.

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