Water is key to food security

World Water Day 22 March 2012

To be able to feed everybody we first need to secure water in sufficient quality and adequate quantity – the theme for World Water Day this year is "Water and Food Security." This is a vital theme for the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Project which spans across 14 different island countries in the region, as two of its key target areas address water resource management and food security.

Nauru and Tuvalu under the PACC helps educate tuvaluwaterday1their local communities on the importance of water and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

PACC Nauru and PACC Tuvalu are building resilience to climate change in the Water Resource Management Sector, a life source under threat by climate change.

As part of the Project's Communication component the countries are carrying out educational awareness to showcase the link between water and food security.

"World Water Day is a significant commemoration to the people to advocate on the importance of water to securing our food," said Ms Loia Tausi, PACC Tuvalu Coordinator.

With limited groundwater, people depend heavily on rainfall however climate change and variability has affected rainfall distribution patterns causing serious water shortages. The current water infrastructure is not able to cope with the changes, adversely impacting the village livelihoods and agricultural production.

"Today we will be talking to schools and communities on how best we can sustain our limited available water to grow our food, how climate change exacerbates the problem, and ways in which tuvaluwaterday2we can best remedy the issue or the adaptation method to survive this crisis and cater for a growing population."

She added, "Women are an important participant in the event as they manage the sustainable use of water in their households and most home gardens are done by women"

The educational awareness is targeting the link between water and food security and for Nauru changes in its rainfall patterns as well as salt water intrusion into its ground water has directly impacted the people's access to good quality drinking water and water for agriculture.

"The event will increase the visibility of the PACC Nauru adaptation efforts in improving the existing water structures to cope with this climate related stresses. We have a number community members coming to us for solar purifiers that was done by the project, a positive outcome as this provides water from a contaminated source during drought," said Ms Mavis Depaune Nauru PACC Coordinator.

"We will have a display competition where Government Departments, private sectors and members of the communities will participate; we have school drama competitions organized for the Day, tuvaluwaterday3students have been given a list topics relating to 'Water and Food Security' and this a chance for us to see their view on the issue."

Tuvalu is also using radio to advocate the theme of the Day and talking to people on ways they can adapt to the changing environment and the management of the limited fresh water supply catering the country's survival.

Both Ms Tausi and Ms Depaune are confident that the event will be a success in broadening existing knowledge of the communities and increasing their level of awareness on the critical issue of water.

The PACC Project consists of 14 member countries; it is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). It is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Australian Agency for International Development with support from United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Climate Change Capacity Development (C3D+) Programme.

For more information on the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project, please visit www.sprep.org/pacc-home

You are here: Home News Climate Change Water is key to food security