World Water Day 2012: Paying better attention to the world’s most precious resource

    | March 19, 2012

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    In 1993, the United Nations designated March 22 as World Water Day. This week’s three stories mark the 20th World Water Day by exploring several aspects of African farmers’ relationship with water.

    Our first story comes from southeast Zimbabwe, where women farmers are participating in government irrigation schemes. In this dry area, women are growing crops on land allocated to them through government projects. The women are finding that irrigation improves both their yields and their household food security.

    Our second story takes us to South Africa, where river water contaminated by a cyanide spill has killed a number of livestock. A synthetic rubber manufacturer is taking responsibility for the spill, but livestock keepers believe more needs to be done to prevent a recurrence in the future.

    Our third story comes from Congo-Brazzaville. While there has been some progress across Africa at improving access to water, there are still many areas where fetching water continues to be a lengthy and arduous task − and the exclusive responsibility of women and girls! Our final story takes us to a northern Congolese village where women and girls spend long hours fetching scarce water. This results in negative effects on both the women’s agricultural activities and the girls’ education.

    Please check out our Action, Event, Resource, and Script sections this week.

    Happy reading!

    -The Farm Radio Weekly team