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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 107; doi:10.3390/ijerph13010107

Water-Food-Nutrition-Health Nexus: Linking Water to Improving Food, Nutrition and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa

Department of Crop Science, School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3201, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 28 December 2015 / Accepted: 30 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [314 KB, uploaded 6 January 2016]

Abstract

Whereas sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty and food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and health owing to uncoordinated efforts between agricultural and nutrition scientists. There is also a need to develop and promote the use of metrics that capture aspects of water, agriculture, food and nutrition. This review identified nutritional water productivity as a suitable index for measuring the impact of a water-food-nutrition-health nexus. Socio-economic factors are also considered as they influence food choices in rural communities. An argument for the need to utilise the region’s agrobiodiversity for addressing dietary quality and diversity was established. It is concluded that a model for improving nutrition and health of poor rural communities based on the water-food-nutrition-health nexus is possible. View Full-Text
Keywords: agrobiodiversity; food and nutrition security; nutritional water productivity; water-food-nutrition-health nexus agrobiodiversity; food and nutrition security; nutritional water productivity; water-food-nutrition-health nexus
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mabhaudhi, T.; Chibarabada, T.; Modi, A. Water-Food-Nutrition-Health Nexus: Linking Water to Improving Food, Nutrition and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 107.

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