FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO raises student awareness on the importance of combating water waste and using water sustainably through #EveryDropCounts campaign.

27 March 2022, Palestine – Reducing a person’s individual water footprint, combating collective and individual water misuse, overuse, and waste and is essential everywhere. Therefore, #EveryDropCounts - Water is life. Water is food. Water is your responsibility. The Every Drop Counts campaign aims to raise awareness on the rising issue of water scarcity, the importance of combating misuse and overuse of water, and the adoption of sustainable water practices. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Water Authority have implemented two awareness sessions in Palestine; one in a high school in Qalqilya governorate targeting 50 students aged 14, and one in Najah National University in Nablus governorate, targeting 40 university students. The main objective of the sessions was to spread the #EveryDropCounts campaign message, which tackles three main themes: Water is life. Water is food. Water is your responsibility.

Water is essential for agricultural production and food security.  It is the lifeblood of ecosystems, including forests, lakes and wetlands, on which our present and future food and nutritional security depends The Near East and North Africa (NENA) regions’ fresh water resources are among the lowest in the world: The quantity available per capita have decreased by two-thirds during the last 40 years and is expected to fall over 50 percent by 2050.

The first awareness session took place on the 21st of March 2022 in Jayyous High Girls School in Qalqilya governorate, where 50 school students attended. The second session took place on the 27th of March 2022 in the Al Najah National University in Nablus Governorate, where 30 university students along with 10 persons from different institutions including university instructors attended. The session included a theoretical presentation that highlighted the sources of water, a background on water scarcity, sovereignty over water resources, what the water footprint is and the difference between the direct and indirect water footprint. It also included statistics of food loss and waste in the region, the link between food waste and natural resource waste, as well as shocking numbers of the water footprint of different food and everyday products around us. The presentation ended with tips on how to reduce one’s personal footprint and how to use water sustainably. Session in the school also included different activities that aimed to make the students think out of the box by guessing the water footprint of different items used in their everyday life, as well as coming up with solutions to combating water waste.

Overall, the participation rate of the students was high under the negative political situation that was prevailing, and they seemed very interested in the topic and the method of presentation. They were eager to ask questions and seek advice on how to change their behavior in order to make a difference. The #EveryDropCounts toolkit is available for interested parties here.

This activity is implemented within the framework of the regional project ‘Implementing the 2030 Agenda for water efficiency/productivity and water sustainability in NENA countries’. This project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.