Public Health, Social Development and Labor
CPS: Water is Life, water if food. Leave no one behind
Sun Oct 15 2023
World Food Day (WFD) will be marked around the globe on Monday, October 16 under the theme, “Water is Life, Water is Food. Leave no one behind.”
According to the United Nations (UN) Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), water is essential to life on Earth. It covers the majority of the Earth’s surface, makes up over 50% of our bodies, produces our food, and supports livelihoods.
“But this precious resource is not infinite, and we need to stop taking it for granted. What we eat, and how that food is produced all affect water. Together, we can take water action for food and be the change.”
Water covers about 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface.
“Only 2.5% of water is fresh, suitable for drinking, agriculture, and most industrial uses. Water is a driving force for people,
economies and nature and the foundation of our food. Indeed, agriculture accounts for 72% of global freshwater withdrawals, but like all natural resources, fresh water is not infinite.
“Rapid population growth, urbanization, economic development, and climate change are putting the planet’s water resources under increasing stress.
“At the same time, freshwater resources per person have declined 20% in the past decades and water availability and quality are deteriorating fast due to decades of poor use and management, over extraction of groundwater, pollution and climate change. We risk stretching this precious resource to a point of no return.
“Today, 2.4 billion people live in water-stressed countries. Many are smallholder farmers who already struggle to meet their daily needs, particularly women, Indigenous Peoples, migrants, and refugees. Competition for this priceless resource is increasing as water scarcity becomes an ever-increasing cause of conflict.
“Around 600 million people who depend, at least partially, on aquatic food systems for a living are suffering the effects of pollution, ecosystem degradation, unsustainable practices and climate change,” FAO said.
The FAO added that collective action across 150 countries is what makes World Food Day one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar.
Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, as part of its annual public health calendar of observances, said the global message to stop taking water for granted and start improving the way we use it in our daily lives should be part of the daily routine. A few tips to be mindful of, is the scarcity of
water; turn off the water tap properly; and wash your car by using a bucket of water.
CPS reminds the community that the food we eat, and how that food is produced all affect water. We can make a difference by choosing local, seasonal, and fresh foods, wasting less of it – even by reducing food waste, and finding safe ways to reuse it while preventing water pollution.
In this period of various discussions on Climate Change and Food Security, CPS calls on the community to collectively take action for the future of water, food, people, and the planet.