Lusaka (Friday, 22nd March 2024) – The National Food and Nutrition Commission joins the rest of the world to observe the World Water Day, being celebrated under the theme, ‘’water for peace.’’ The Commission is urging citizens to conserve and drink safe clean fresh water for improved nutrition. Access to sufficient clean fresh water is essential for all forms of life.

The global theme for this year’s World Water Day, is “Water for Peace’’. The theme points to the reality of how we could cooperate on water to improve harmony, prosperity and withstand challenges that come with scarcity of this precious resource. However, due to climate change, availability of both surface and ground fresh water is getting reduced in most communities. Hence, it is leading to competition for this resource. Pollution from industrial waste and agro-chemical use is also compromising the quality of safe clean fresh water resulting in excessive withdrawal of both ground and surface water for agriculture, industry, and domestic use has continued to deplete safe clean fresh water sources.
In a human body, water is useful for rehydration and proper digestion of food for nourishment. It also suffices to say that, 60% of the human body is water. Ideally, an imbalance of water levels in the body affects the normal processes of the body. Failure to drink and utilize safe clean fresh water could affect food absorption and contribute to malabsorption of nutrients and altimately increase nutrient deficiencies in the body. To make water safe for drinking, citizens should either chlorinate or boil water before drinking it. In order to be well rehydrated, it is essential that humans drink sufficient quantities of safe clean fresh water on average of two to three litres in a day for adults to achieve optimum nutrition.
It suffices to state that people should wash food or wash hands with soap under running safe clean water before eating anfd touching the food to eliminate germs. This lessens transmission of diseases like diarrhoea which contribute to malnutrition. On the overall, safe clean water also helps to improve hygiene and sanitation especially when surfaces are cleaned with soap and water.
In the agriculture sector, water is the engine of all agricultural production and productivity. Most of small holder farmers depend on it to irrigate their crops and have food. Plant growth highly depends on water availability for nutrient uptake. Dwindling water for crop production, lowers supply of nutritious foods at household levels as well as on the market. The Commission is encouraging citizens to ration water, mend leaking pipes, and use sustainable farming systems which do not use a lot of water like keyhole gardening and growing food crops in flower-pots or sacks within homesteads. Households should also practice conservation agriculture which helps to keep moisture in soil like potholling, plant drought tolerant seed varieties when farming and utilize smart agriculture systems such as drips to conserve water.
Citizens are also implored to care about conservation of natural resources. For instance, continued cutting of trees increases droughts. This has a ripple effect on water regeneration and availability of rains. This reduces food production and contributes to malnutrition. Therefore, it is important that citizens protect and preserve water sources and avoid misuse of water and wastage of food.

As we commemorate this event, the Commission is urging communities to access safe clean water to drink for improved nutrition and also use water wisely to enhance their well-being.
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Nutrition Education and Communication Unit
National Food and Nutrition Commission
P.O. Box 32669, Lusaka
Tel: +260 211 227 803
www.nfnc.org.zm