Nearly 84 million people in the world are still deprived of pure drinking water, while over 2.60 billion have access to basic sanitation facilities.
About 15 million children, aged below five, die annually due to diseases related to water and sanitation. The findings were there in a research report, revealed at the 'National Water Rights Conference-2016' held at the Krishibid Institution auditorium of Kamarbari in the capital on Sunday.
Speakers at the conference said people's rights to water resources, under no circumstances, should be considered less important than other human rights.
If the existing water rights discrimination arising from gender, class, ethnicity and rural and urban identities is to be solved, the 'principle of equity' must be established, they observed.
They said management of water resources in Bangladesh is now in a dire straits.
They recommended establishing of a 'proper management structure' for water resources at national, regional and international levels, while top priority should be given to resolving the plights of the marginalised people.
Executive Director of Association for Land Reforms and Development (ALRD) Shamsul Huda delivered the welcome speech, while Executive Director of Incidin- Bangladesh AKM Masud Ali presented the keynote paper.
Water Resources Minister Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud speaking as the Chief Guest said the Ministry of Water Resources from now on would incorporate stakeholders' recommendations in its project papers for better management of water resources.
He said the government would take initiatives to resolve water-related problems at Barind, coastal, haor and hill areas.
Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forest Md Yasin Ali MP, member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Water Resources AKM Fazlul Haque MP, General Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon Dr Md Abdul Matin and representatives from Barind, coastal, haor and hill areas took part in the discussion.
Khushi Kabir, Chairperson of the Association for Land Reforms and Development (ALRD) and Coordinator of the non-government organisation (NGO) Nijera Kori presided over the inaugural session.
After the inaugural session, the first session was presided over by Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), while the second one was chaired by eminent water resources expert Dr Ainun Nishat of Brac University.