Why watershed management matters?
The condition of ecological watersheds affects the health of people and the downstream environments in which they live. Higher incidences of water-related bacterial diseases like typhoid and leptospirosis occur within watersheds that have large tracts of cleared land and higher densities of livestock accessing waterways. In addition, watershed alterations that promote flooding and standing water can accelerate mosquito-borne dengue transmission within rural communities. These same activities increase the amounts of sediments and nutrients entering waterways, with devastating impacts on freshwater and coastal coral reef ecosystems and thus the food, livelihoods and cultural practices of local people.Targeted watershed interventions and water management practices reduce water-related disease risk, improve downstream ecosystem condition and support overall system health. The Watershed Interventions for Systems Health in Fiji (WISH Fiji) project embraces this integrated approach, working with national and local government, rural communities and the commercial sector to reduce infection risk and improve health and well-being within five river sub-catchments areas in Fiji. We are transforming action from reactive to preventative, improving the ability of integrated systems to predict, prevent, respond and recover from water-related infectious diseases and natural disasters.
Learning about the WISH Fiji Project with Dr. Stacy Jupiter
WISH Fiji Project Mid-Term Review Workshop Reflection