World Food Day: Water is Life, Water is Food
World Food Day: Water Scarcity And Its Solution.
Food is probably the most important thing to any living being. Apart from giving us the necessary energy needed to stay alive, food also connects us, from strengthening the bond between mother and child in the form of milk to starting new connections at first dates and even recreating old ones at reunions. This is why the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945 decided to set aside the 16th of October as World Food Day.
World Food Day is meant to raise awareness, and conversation, and drive action about hunger, malnutrition, sustainability, and food production globally.
This year's celebration is themed 'Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind,' and is focused on underscoring the importance of water in food production and the pertinent need for access to clean water globally.
Water is one of the most abundant natural resources available to man as makes up 71% of the Earth's surface and 45% to 75% of the human body. Every part of life is connected to water. It is essential to quench our thirst, to get food, and to keep us clean.
Beyond its obvious necessity, drinking water has several health benefits such as the regulation of our body's temperature, the proper functioning of the digestive system, the improvement of skin health, and the cushioning of the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues, amongst others.
Despite all these statistics, it may surprise you to know that millions of people around the world do not have access to drinkable water. According to the World Health Organization, in an article released in 2019, 1 in 3 people people globally do not have access to safe drinking water. In addition to this, 1 in 4 people globally do not have access to proper toilet and hand washing facilities, causing the spread of waterborne diseases like cholera in affected areas. This scarcity of water claims more lives than any violent crime each year.
The irony of everything is that while some do not have access to drinkable water, others who have it in abundance take it for granted. The rate of water pollution is increasing by the day, industries and individuals now take water bodies as dumping grounds for their waste. More than 10% of the oceans and other water bodies are covered with oil, harmful chemicals, plastic, and other non-biodegradable waste products making life in water almost impossible. By dumping waste in water bodies we are increasing water scarcity; thus increasing the spread of waterborne diseases. Although water covers over 50% of the Earth's surface, only 2.5% of this water is usable by humans. This will come back to haunt us shortly as some of these water creatures that die due to our actions help to balance the ecosystem while others serve as food to us.
Some more scary statistics are that half of the global population, by 2025, in just 2 years, could be living in areas suffering from water scarcity. With the world being hounded by urbanization, population growth, and the slow onsets of climate change and pollution, the future seems bleak when it comes to addressing water issues and in turn hunger issues.
In a statement by FAO on this year's World Food Day, 'We risk stretching this precious resource (water) to a point of no return', but this does not mean all is lost. FAO has called for the effective use of water, the reuse of wastewater, and the need to use less water in the production of food.
Water is life, water is food and no one deserves to be left behind. Keep it clean and share it.
While it is the job of governments to provide water infrastructure for its citizens and regulate water pollution, you too can help address water issues in several ways:
Learn more about World Food Day 2023
Learn how to take action on World Food Day
Help increase awareness of water scarcity by sharing facts on social media and speaking to your neighbors and friends
Send plastic and other non-biodegradable waste to recycling companies
Make donations to and volunteer for non-profit organizations dedicated to cleaning up water bodies and providing drinkable water to rural areas, such as UNICEF, Lifewater, WaterAid, and the Ocean Cleanup amongst others.
Read the FAO 2023 World Food Day statement, Water is life. Nourishing humanity from the ancient past to the future
Learn more about Water Scarcity
Read more about Access to Safe Drinking Water
Read some Shocking Ocean Plastic Statistics
WRITTEN BY Richard Emmanuel
Richard Emmanuel is a STEM teacher and a fashion designer. During his leisure time, he works as a freelance content writer and sometimes creates poetry content on Instagram. He is passionate about mental health and human resources development.
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EDITED BY 'Zulu Uwolloh
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development professional passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.
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