In the present international arena, water security is an ongoing fear that needs special attention. The broadening of the concept of security has seen it expand to include sectors such as economic security, energy security, food security, societal security and environmental security.
Threats will continue to emerge, particularly when faced with the scarcity of natural resources and it is up to community leadership and governments to keep up with the geopolitical trends and make the vital steps towards confronting and influencing change.
There has been growing focus on natural resources and security, including the linkage between scarcity of environmental resources and social conflicts and its implications for sustainable development. For instance, water demand is expected to exceed supply in South Africa by 17% in 2030.
Water security is understood as “the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development…and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability”.
This highlights the importance of water security in a developing country- beyond just having access to drinking water, while emphasizing the linkages between water, food, energy and ecosystems.
The Xylem Africa Watermark programme is facilitated by GrowZA and has seen some significant movement in the past year. On 6 October 2021 another important water security project was commissioned on an Urban Farm in Bellville, Cape Town.
What makes this project unique is the intersectionality of the project design from a social, economic and governance perspective. The programme was birthed by an NGO (Mould Empower Serve) to address the holistic needs of the clients they serve. Primarily homeless, MES clients access the safe space facility for a secure place to sleep, ablute and benefit from social services. A key element of the MES programme is the re-introduction to the world of work and sustainable economic activity.
The Urban Farm, established on a lot of neglected land behind the MES facility in Bellville, is an oasis in every sense of the word and provides training, job opportunities and a community engagement opportunity.
GrowZA identified the project and conducted the feasibility to realise an impactful social investment by Xylem Africa resulting in the installation of a borehole, the provision of soil feed and seedlings and an investment in the operations of MES. This input fundamentally shifts the business model of the farm allowing for more efficient production, yield and marked improvement of produce quality.
Access to sustainable water sources is a game changer and GrowZA social investment agency continues to drive the agenda of responsible and impactful investments by donors.
If you know of an individual or organisation doing amazing work nominate them for recognition and funding through our HomeGrown Heroes initiative - www.growza.co.za/homegrown