By Rebecca Ekpe
Global Environmental and Water Management Advocate Dr. Olufunke Cofie (PhD) has been speaking at the 2nd African Health Harm Reduction Conference in Marrakech, Morocco where she drew the nexus between clean water, food security, the environment and Health asserting that the quality of water used in producing food must be clean and contaminants free, because clean water is essential to human lives.
Scientists say ‘’contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Absent, inadequate, or inappropriately managed water and sanitation services expose individuals to preventable health risks’’.
Dr. Olufunke points out that ‘’when you’re talking about food, food systems and food generally, the link to health is actually usually true water because a lot of things happen with water. That’s why I base my presentation around the connection between full security, water security and health. So the main message I have there is that the connecting factor is the quality of water that is used to produce food or water, apart from the fact that people will have to drink water when they eat and all that’’.
Hence, ‘’the water that is used to produce food must have good quality so that contaminants will not slow down and enter the food system. So we need to ensure that we have very good water quality’’, she stated, later in an interview with gbcghanaonline.com in Marrakech.
How then can the interested parties ensure that systems are monitored and streamlined to ensure minimum contamination of the produce when it’s being grown?
Dr. Cofie (PhD), also Country Representative, Ghana, International Water Management Institute and Regional Representative, West Africa explained that policies would have to be enforced to achieve expected outcomes.
‘’Policies, regulations that have to be enforced in many of our countries in Africa, we have those regulations, but they are not enforced. So it’s in fact looking at them and enforcing those regulations to ensure that we have good quality produce’’.