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UN chief calls for sustainable water utilisation

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has called for sustainable use of water in the country, saying over the coming decades feeding a growing global population and ensuring food and nutrition security for all will depend on increasing food production, which can only be supported with availability of water.
The UN boss made the call in his message of a World Water Day’s statement released in Dar es Salaam yesterday by UN national information officer Usia Nkhoma Ladama.
“Unless we increase our capacity to use water wisely in agriculture,” Ban Ki-moon noted, “we may fail to end hunger and open the door to a range of other ills, including drought, famine and political instability.”
He said in many parts of the world, water scarcity was increasing, while agricultural production had been decreasing. At the same time, he noted, climate change was exacerbating risk and unpredictability for farmers, especially for poor farmers in low-income countries, who were the most vulnerable and the least able to adapt.
He stated further that, interlinked challenges were increasing competition between communities and countries for scarce water resources, aggravating old security dilemmas, creating new ones and hampering achievements of the fundamental human rights to food, water and sanitation.
He said nearly one billion people were hungry and 800 million others lacked a safe supply of freshwater. “There is much we must do to strengthen the foundations of local, national and global stability,” he said.
Guaranteeing sustainable food and water security for all will require the full engagement of all sectors and actors. It will entail transferring appropriate water technologies, empowering small food producers and conserving essential ecosystem services and will require policies that promote water rights for all, stronger regulatory capacity and gender equality. Investments in water infrastructure, rural development and water resource management are essential for that matter.
“We should all be encouraged by the renewed political interest in food security, as evidenced by the high priority given to this issue by the agendas of the G-8 and G-20, the emphasis on the nexus of food, water and energy in the report of my global sustainability panel and the growing number of countries pledging to scale up nutrition,” he said.
“On this World Water Day, I urge all partners to fully use the opportunity provided by the Rio+20 UN conference on sustainable development. In Rio, we need to connect the dots between water security and food and nutrition security in the context of a green economy,” he added that water would play a central role “in creating the future we want.”
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is water and food security.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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