The ancient history of mankind has been marked by all kinds of crises caused by the lack of water due to climate changes. Many cultures were able to overcome them, others were unable to adapt and declined. We have to learn from the cultures that resisted and those that succumbed.
When is a country known to be water efficient, and is its agriculture, industry or urban supply water efficient? The attainment of the SDG 6 by 2030 forces us to provide an answer to these questions. UN Water has developed certain indicators to help manage water efficiency and also to understand it.
Peru is one of the countries with the greatest water contrasts. The sustainable development of its enormous farming potential depends on the adequate management of water and the territory. To achieve this, the country has the richness of the ancestral tradition that most cared for water as the main link to the land: the Incan culture. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of recovering this farming model based on the understanding of the laws of nature and their compliance.
The projects of the Foundation in India have helped to save and improve the crops of more than 90,000 farmers in the areas affected by droughts and the uncertainty of monsoons. They are the ones who are most affected by the climate crisis, social neglect and the yoke of monoculture. They have been provided with water, but most of all what they have received is the capacity for self-management and efficiency, the base to face a sustainable and fair future. This experience must be universal.
The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has coincided with the confirmation of the increasing deterioration of climate data. Droughts, heat waves and violent phenomena are the source of famines, increase poverty and threaten to cause more damage than coronavirus in the long term. Both the health and climate crises, albeit with different time scales, are universal and require immediate action.
Covid -19 has shot to pieces all aid programs against global childhood malnutrition. The situation of extreme vulnerability in which millions of children in the poorest regions have been left is a collateral emergency to that of the virus which has already turned into a terrible humanitarian crisis. The difficulty of access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation always goes hand in hand with abandoned and malnourished children. The international reaction has already started and aid projects are greatly increasing. Together we will succeed.
Do we eat sustainably? The meaning of this sentence is different for someone living in NYC o in Dhaka, or for a farmer in the French Burgundy, in Anantapur or in the African Sahel. The responses do not allow us to draw global conclusions either. The food challenge faced by mankind is enormous: in addition to the need of water and land there is now the carbon footprint. The climate crisis is present in the diet of those who have the privilege of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. And what about all those who don’t?
Water with fecal waste is one of the main causes of food contamination and its spreading in a community. The solution is to ensure safe access to water and adequate sanitation and to implement personal hygiene practices in those who prepare the food and those who eat it. The short film Pollution Cycle, finalist at the We Art Water Film Festival 4, shows how easily unclean water can spread infections through a simple sandwich.
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