Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General, QU Dongyu, has urged African leaders and experts to consider ways water van be conserved in the continent.
The Director-General said this during the first FAO regional workshop on National Water Roadmaps held in Zimbabwe
The three-day meeting will look at regional and national perspectives regarding water challenges ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference.
Part of the aims of the FAO regional workshop is to inform African countries about the overall role of water in sustainable development and to provide a platform for governments, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and academia to discuss and develop country-specific water plans.
Marking the commencement of the workshop in the country, QU said there was a need for collected efforts to deal with the issues of water conservation.
“We clearly need to rethink how we use the water we have in a sustainable and equitable way with innovations in agriculture being at the forefront,” QU said.
“Because water is food, and food is water, food is life. Over 95% of the food we eat is produced on land, from soil and water.
“Yet we are facing severe water challenges: droughts and water scarcity, floods and pollution”, he added.
In Africa, 289 million people, 21% of the population, still suffer from hunger or food insecurity, and more than 300 million in the continent live in areas affected by low and irregular rainfall, resulting in droughts and water scarcity.
The Director-General, noted that Agriculture is responsible for 70% of global freshwater withdrawals, adding that the workshop is crucial to increase water productivity with innovations in the sector being at the forefront.