Simavi: ‘The Netherlands should take the lead in solving the worldwide water crisis’

Article: 14.04.22, Den Haag, Karin Bojorge-Alvarez

Putting political pressure on the Dutch government to deal with the international water crisis. That’s why Simavi, together with its partners, campaigned with a Water Cocktail Bar on the doorstep of the House of Representatives in The Hague.

Water Cocktail Bar

The Water Cocktail Bar was an invitation to ministers and MPs to start the debate on the climate and water crisis. Several MP’s, including Tom van der Lee (GroenLinks) and Jan Klink (VVD), visited the Water Bar. A pamphlet containing the main message of our Water Wake-Up Call was also handed over to the Dutch prime-minister Mark Rutte.

Simavi talking to people about the water crisis

Disastrous water crisis

Brechje Oonk of Simavi: “Climate change is leading to a catastrophic water crisis that threatens the future for millions of people worldwide. We at Simavi believe that there is far too little debate about this in the Netherlands. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are already struggling with water shortages and floods.”

Brechje Oonk
Brechje Oonk Public Affairs Officer
“Climate change is leading to a catastrophic water crisis that threatens the future for millions of people worldwide. We at Simavi believe that there is far too little debate about this in the Netherlands."

Water Wake-Up Call

“That is why we are working together with our partners on the Water Wake-Up Call campaign. We are convinced that the Netherlands can and should take the lead”, says Oonk. “Particularly when it comes to more and better financing for climate adaptation measures. 

The Netherlands does not meet its own promised climate financing, while this is even less than our fair share. And the people who are most affected, especially women and girls, are not being heard. That is why we believe that local organisations at all levels should be involved, since local water knowledge and solutions are essential for sustainable impact. 

We believe that this should become an important priority in the policy agenda of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Liesje Schreinemacher.”

Exert pressure

The water crisis has hit women and girls in Africa and Asia the hardest, Oonk notes. “They did not cause the climate crisis, but have to deal with the consequences. In order to provide safe drinking water for their families, millions of women and girls are forced to walk even further to find drinking water. They miss school more often, have no time to work and are increasingly confronted with violence. That is why we ask the Dutch public to support the Water Wake-Up Call with a signature and thus put pressure on the government."

The pamphlet containing the main message of the Water Wake-Up Call

Policy memorandum on development cooperation

In the next months, there will be a number of crucial moments for developing a new course in the climate and water crisis. On April 13 the Dutch Water Envoy Henk Ovink spoke with the Committee of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation about the upcoming UN Water Conference in 2023, which the Netherlands will co-chair with Tajikistan. 

A new policy memorandum from the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will be issued in June. Another important climate summit will be held in Egypt in November 2022. With the Water Wake-Up Call we will sound the alarm at all these moments, so that the water crisis remains high on the government's agenda and that of world leaders.

Help and contribute to solutions for the water crisis.

What you can do