As we commemorate World Food Day, it is crucial to reflect on the pivotal role that legislators play in championing food security, nutrition, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives. The fundamental truth is that water sustains life, and food nourishes our bodies, fostering a brighter future for everyone. However, on a global scale, 2 billion people (26% of the population) continue to grapple with the harsh realities of inadequate access to clean, safe water sources and food insecurity.
A noteworthy case to consider is Uganda, a nation endowed with abundant water resources yet still facing distinct challenges on its journey towards food security and improved access to clean water:
In 2020, food consumption accounted for the highest household expenditure at 43%. Tragically, 23% of Ugandan children under the age of 5 endured stunting, hampering their developmental potential. Even more disheartening is the fact that a significant proportion of water sources fail to meet national standards for potable water quality.
Turning our attention to Uganda's policy landscape, it is evident that the country has established various policies and made commitments aimed at enhancing and prioritising food, nutrition, and water issues. While we take pride in these milestones, our enthusiasm is somewhat reduced by the need for effective policy implementation and the outdated nature of certain policies.
This situation underscores the urgent necessity for all stakeholders to collaborate closely with legislators. The objective is twofold: first, to ensure the formulation of up-to-date policies that address the current challenges; and second, to advocate for the dissemination and implementation of existing policies.
During World Food Day, celebrated on the 16th of October, Right2Grow Uganda joined forces with the Uganda Parliamentary Alliance on Food and Nutrition Security (UPA-FNS). This collaboration took the form of a press conference and participation in the World Food Day national event. The purpose was to advance the food and nutrition bill and raise awareness about critical issues related to food, nutrition, and WASH in Uganda. The call to key stakeholders is to lend their support, strengthen ongoing processes initiated by the government, and work towards a comprehensive approach that includes a review of food and nutrition policies. "Members of Parliament under the nutrition forum are coming up with a private members bill on Food and Nutrition which will be tabled before parliament. We call upon the Minister of Agriculture to speed up the review of the policy on Food and Nutrition so that the two can move together," Hon. Auma Linda Agnes, Vice Chairperson of UPA-FNS, emphasised while addressing participants at the National World Food Day event in Mukono-Uganda.
In these endeavors, it is imperative that we work collaboratively with our legislators to create a conducive policy environment that not only facilitates safe water access but also ensures a food-secure future for all Ugandans.
Check out the links below for details on Right2Grow Uganda engagements with UPA-FNS on World Food Day;Back to overview