In honour of World Water Day 2023 with its theme ‘accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis, the Prize team sat down with sixteen-year-old Gifted Students School Abdulrahman Oday Abdullah, Mohammed Ali Adnan and Abdulrahman Omar Neshat who answered a few questions for the Prize about their 2023 Prize-winning Global High School category project called ‘The Spirit of Life’ and why their community in Iraq so desperately needs better access to safe drinking water.
- 1- How does the hydroponic greenhouse proposed to be developed by your team help to conserve water resources, and what are some of the key features that make it an innovative and sustainable solution?
Our project ‘The Spirit of Life’ will reduce water consumed in agriculture. We utilize hydroponics to save 92% of the water consumed in traditional agriculture. We consider it an innovative and sustainable solution because it takes into consideration all aspects of sustainability: water, health, energy and food. Solar cells are our sustainable energy source. The project also produces six times the food produced by traditional agriculture. It also reduces pollution in the environment and soil diseases, providing a sterile and fertile environment for plant growth.
- 2- How do you believe World Water Day can raise awareness and inspire action towards achieving SDG6: Clean water and sanitation for all?
World Water Day will raise awareness and inspire action towards achieving SDG6: Clean water and sanitation for all through educational campaigns, events and activities, advocacy and policy changes, and engaging stakeholders from different sectors. It provides an opportunity to educate people, advocate for policy changes, and work collaboratively towards a more sustainable future where everyone has access to clean water and sanitation.
- 3- What are some of your community’s unique water challenges and what inspired your team to innovate these solutions?
There are many water challenges that our society faces. The main rivers that people have relied on for millennia have begun to dry up as well as many lakes. In addition, many of our water sources are polluted. My country, Iraq, was also ranked the fifth most affected country by water scarcity. The suffering of our society, the spread of diseases, the scarcity of water, in addition to the desertification of 70% of agricultural lands and the harm of people after the war are all problems with which my country deals. The suffering of our people inspired us to work for a better future through sustainable ideas and projects that preserve the environment and solve many community problems in a sustainable way.