Today is marks World Water Day and this year’s theme is ‘Water and Food Security’. Without water we cannot survive. The United Nations states the following’ drought caused more deaths during the last century than any other natural disaster, and Asia and Africa rank first among continents in the number of people directly affected’. Many developing countries suffer long periods of drought, food shortages are common place and children are undernourished. Whereas in the west our fridges are full and the water pours from our taps in abundance – much of it is wasted. The more food we eat the more water we need for our crops and livestock. It takes approximately 1500 litres of water to produce 1 kg of wheat, but it takes 10 times more to produce 1kg of beef. We expend vast amounts of water for cooking, washing, bathing, cleaning, watering gardens, car washing… the list goes on and on.
For those developing countries that rely on local food production water is a precious commodity. This month sees the end of the rainy season in Zambia. The African bush is green and lush, the crops are flourishing and the streams and rivers are over-flowing, but this month will see the last of the rains until October. It is crucial for the local people to grow sufficient maize, which is dried and bagged to last through the dry season. However here water cannot easily be stored and unless a community has a bore hole water shortage becomes apparent. Many areas in Zambia are without access to safe, clean water and have to rely on streams containing bacteria and crocodile-infested rivers. This water has to be used for drinking, washing, crop irrigation and livestock. When the streams run dry between August and October families walk many miles have to find a water source.
To ease the situation in the Kazungula District The Butterfly Tree has added a bore hole to every school it is supporting. This gives the children access to safe, clean water and the school to have a sustainable feeding program by growing maize and vegetables. To date we have funded seven bore holes for schools and three for local communities, a further bore hole will shortly constructed at Mukuni Village. Many more are need in these remote villages, especially where hunger widespread. Diarrhoea in all ages is common and in infants it can be fatal.
Support World Water Day by conserving our water and supporting people who suffer from water shortages and those who have no access to safe, clean water.