FIJI will mark World Water Day on Thursday with the launch of Pacific Blue Water Ribbon, an event designed to raise awareness of water and sanitation issues facing Pacific Island countries.
The launch will be held in conjunction with a roadshow at Prince Charles Park, Nadi.
A statement by the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SOPAC) said the blue ribbon event was initially launched by Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands at the 2010 Micronesian Chief Executive Summit in Koror Palau.
It was also used at national water summits run by the three countries on World Water Day last year.
Fiji will join five other Pacific Island countries ù Nauru, Niue, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Tonga ù when the blue ribbon event is launched on Thursday.
"Those that wear the ribbon acknowledge that water resources in the Pacific are fragile and vulnerable and stand in solidarity with other Pacific Island countries to ensure that water and sanitation issues is a high priority in the development and quality of life of all Pacific Islanders," the statement said.
Water issues affect all sectors of society and government, and by wearing the blue ribbon the bearer accepts and takes personal responsibility to improve water and sanitation said SOPAC.
World Water Day is globally celebrated on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year Fiji will be celebrating World Water Day over one week, from March 19 to March 24.
The WWD celebrations will be a roadshow that will travel to some of the areas worst hit by flooding earlier this year. The roadshow started in Rakiraki yesterday and moves to Ba, Lautoka, Nadi and Sigatoka.