World Rivers Day today
News Desk || risingbd.com
Today (September 24) is the World Rivers Day. The day is being observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe on Sunday. The day is annually celebrated on the last Sunday of every September with an aim of creating a greater awareness of the need to better care for our water resources.
The theme of this year’s World Rivers Day is “The waterways in our public life.”
Although Bangladesh is known as a nodimatrik desh– a country borne by rivers, many of its rivers are now lost, mostly due to human interventions.
It is learnt that the number of rivers in the country has almost halved in the last 50 years. Currently, many of a total of 383 rivers listed in the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) are in a sorry state because of pollution, aggression of land robbers and unplanned industrialization. The natural flow of the rivers is being obstructed and many rivers have dried up.
The first World Rivers Day was observed in 2005, following the launch that year of the Water for Life Decade by the United Nations. The proposal for such a celebration was initiated by renowned Canadian river advocate Mark Angelo.
World Rivers Day is based on BC Rivers Day, founded and led by Angelo in his native country since 1980 where “BC” refers to the Canadian province of British Columbia and the festival is the largest river appreciation event in the North American nation. However, it is to be noted that September 24 is not the fixed date for World Rivers Day celebrations because the Canadian event takes place on fourth Sunday of September every year therefore, its global counterpart, the world’s largest river festival, too, is observed on fourth Sunday in the ninth month of every year.
World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways that highlights the many values of our rivers, strives to increase public awareness, and encourages the improved stewardship of all rivers around the world. United Nations (UN) launched the Water for Life Decade in 2005 with an aim of creating a greater awareness of the need to better care for our water resources. A World Rivers Day event was seen by agencies of the UN as a good fit for the aims of the Water for Life Decade and the proposal was approved. The first event of World Rivers Day took place in 2005 and was a great success. World Rivers Day was celebrated across dozens of countries back then. Later, the event has continued to grow. Bangladesh has been observing the World Rivers Day since 2010.
World Rivers Day serves as a reminder of the critical role that rivers play in our environment and in sustaining life on Earth along with promoting collaboration among governments, environmental organisations, community groups and individuals to work together in protecting and restoring rivers. The day encourages people to take responsibility for the health and preservation of these vital waterways, which are essential for ecosystems, communities and economies around the world.
Organisations and communities use this day to educate the public about the value of rivers, their ecosystems and the role they play in providing clean water, supporting biodiversity and sustaining human life hence, many events are organised worldwide where volunteers come together to clean up riverbanks, remove trash and debris and restore the natural habitat along rivers to celebrate World River Day. Other events include river festivals, workshops and guided tours to engage the public in learning about their local rivers and the importance of safeguarding them while scientists and researchers highlight the results of studies related to river health and water quality on this day.