ISLAMABAD - World Water Day observed on March 22 highlights the urgency for governments, organisations and individuals around the world to preserve water resources, prevent wastage, use safe and less water-intensive products to enhance health and food security, United Nations said on Wednesday. According to a press release, the global day’s theme ‘Water and Food Security’, establishes links between use of water resources for food production, use of unsafe water and its direct impacts on the health and nutrition of women and children, especially those living in rural and urban slums.

“Improving access to safe water in both rural and urban areas of Pakistan can help mitigate waterborne diseases and malnutrition in women and children. It would reduce women’s work load and improves hygiene and sanitation practices at the household and at the community level,” said Timo Pakkala, the UN Pakistan Resident Coordinator. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s message on this day reads, “Over the coming decades, feeding a growing global population and ensuring food and nutrition security for all will depend on increasing food production. This, in turn, means ensuring the sustainable use of our most critical finite resource - water. The theme of this year’s World Water Day is water and food security.

Agriculture is by far the main user of freshwater. Unless we increase our capacity to use water wisely in agriculture, we will fail to end hunger and we will open the door to a range of other ills, including drought, famine and political instability.”