Thursday, 29 March 2012

March update from Wellbeing Wales

March. A month named after the Roman God of War and host of all water related Zodiac signs. But, given recent reports, the twin Piscean fish may soon be finding themselves well and truly out of water. For those of us residing in the UK every news bulletin heralds news of impending water shortages and summer hose pipe bans. But it appears that falling fresh water rates are a growing concern for the wider global community also. The Independent reports how demand 'for water is expected to increase by 55 per cent over the next four decades' yet more 'than 80 per cent of the used water on Earth is neither collected nor treated'. To put this into context, Anthony Cox, head of a water programme run by OECD, has revealed that 'more people in cities now don't have access to water than back in 1980'. Taking shorter showers and fixing your leaky tap may go some way to helping the cause but the enormity of the situation extends above and beyond domestic consumption. As Olcay Unver, co-ordinator of the United Nations World Water Assessment, highlights, 'Water is not only what we drink, what we wash with, or what we use to irrigate; it is also embedded in the products that we eat, consume and use...this gives us a totally different perspective to water – it is subject to trade policies, and one nation, or one corporation, can have an impact on water shortages somewhere elsewhere'. It seems unfathomable to imagine, as we sit here in in damp waterlogged Wales, a future where clean water is as rare a commodity as fuel. But whether we like it or not the warning signs are most definitely in place.

March also saw the return of International Women’s day. Now, well into its centenary, the day serves as a reminder of how far women have come in achieving equality whilst highlighting the imparities that still exist across the globe. In the Western world we are often dismissive of the impact of gender bias yet the figures speak for themselves. As The Independent highlights only ‘15 per cent of directorships on FTSE 100 boards’ are held by women. However, as diminutive as the figure may sound, it signals a steady increase of 3% since 2008. Hopefully, the inclusion of more women into higher profile roles will inspire all workplaces to lift the glass ceiling and allow for career progression based on individual merit rather than gender.
And finally, always ones to enjoy spinning a good yarn, we here at Lles Cymru have been greatly amused by the recent trend of ‘yarnstorming’. Cities and high streets across the UK have become awash with garlands of knitted figures and display pieces. Often appearing in the dead of the night, the knitted figures are causing quite a stir amongst local residents as they try to unravel the mystery of how they got there. London based collective, Knit the City, are largely accredited with starting the trend in the capital but it appears that the trend is ‘casting on’ across the country with the most recent spectacular display of knitting wizardry, a wooly celebration of the 2012 Olympics, being found running along Saltburn pier. Though it would be easy to dismiss the trend as a bit of frivolous fun, it does provide a new and novel way of encouraging people and communities to engage with their surroundings and take notice of the world around them. And that, darn it, is no mean feat. 

Author: Wellbeing Wales

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