March 22 marks the 20th annual World Water Day, with this year’s theme being water and food security.
Coordinated by The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the day raises awareness of the need for safe, clean drinking water and the fact that 783 million people worldwide still do not have access to clean drinking water.
The slogan for this year’s global event is “World Water Day 2012: The world is thirsty because we are hungry”. The event website says that statistics say that each of us drinks between two and four litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 litres of water while 1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 litres.
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A video illustrating the use of water in the food chain can be viewed below:
In Africa,Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL) is one beverage company doing its bit for World Water Day. Ghana’s leading beverage company and a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, it is holding a series of activities aimed at engaging its employees and focusing the attention of Corporate Ghana on the importance of water.
Diageo has pledged to provide access to safe drinking water for one million people every year in Africa. Since 2007, GGBL has invested in its flagship Water of Life (WoL) programme in Ghana. The programme now provides a portfolio of water initiatives designed to address different water stressed needs, including boreholes to bring ground water to small/rural communities; the extension of pipelines to deliver running water and the provision of filters to individuals, families and schools.
“Water is life, literally. As a manufacturer we are faced with persistent water shortages and we know that access to safe drinking water makes a direct impact on productivity, efficiency and costs,” said Peter Ndegwa, Managing Director of GGBL, said.
“The business community creates jobs, pays taxes and adds value to society. For many communities and people across Ghana, lack of access to safe drinking water translates into hours that should have been invested in education or productive labour spent walking to fetch water. If the water that is sourced is not clean, individuals, families and communities that are already often deprived, face an additional burden of health care costs.”
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