Clean Water is Key Step to Prosperity

March 22, 2012

In honor of World Water Day 2012 this Thursday, here are some interesting articles on the links between water, food and security. You can follow us on Twitter @feedthefuture for more World Water Day coverage. 

Clean water is a key step to prosperity

By Charlene Porter

People in developed countries turn on a water tap a dozen times a day without a thought about how that flow contributes to their life, but in international development, water access is a fundamental premise: Give a community clean water, and you improve quality of life and expand opportunity.

The first people to experience better lives with a clean, accessible water source are women and girls, who can reclaim the hours they spend each day walking to and from the nearby river or lake carrying all the water to meet household needs.

“Imagine all the girls who would stay in school,” said Daniel Yohannes, chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), at a World Water Day event in Washington March 20. “Imagine less disease when people do not have to stay at home recuperating from [waterborne] sickness. Imagine the businesses that can thrive and create jobs.” Continue reading on the U.S. Department of State IIP Digital site.

Water pans and trapezoidal bunds: Life-changing tools in Kenya

By Elizabeth Petrovski

Though one sounds like a medical contraption and the other a geometry problem, water pans and trapezoidal bunds are actually vital instruments Kenyan herders and farmers can use to collect and preserve rainwater for human and livestock consumption and crop irrigation in areas regularly impacted by droughts.

I recently had the opportunity to visit Kenya, and view a couple of projects run by the World Food Program (WFP) and its cooperating partner, the Kenya Child Fund, near Lodwar in the northeastern district of Turkana. The WFP, which has been working in Kenya for a long time, began a program in 2009 aimed at rebuilding the livelihoods of populations living in the arid and semi-arid lands of Kenya, of which Turkana is one, that have been severely affected by recurring droughts.

With this program, the United Nation's food aid arm has gone beyond just feeding hungry mouths to implementing Food-for-Assets projects intended to rebuild community assets as a means of protecting households from future droughts. In the development world, this is increasingly being called building resilience. Continue reading on the DipNote Blog. 

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