Oil spill coats river, sea in Nigeria’s impoverished Niger Delta

Last modified on 2014-12-05 17:01:38 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“A large oil spill near Nigeria’s Brass facility, run by ENI, an Italian energy company, has spread through the sea and swamps of the oil producing Niger Delta region, local residents and the company said Monday.

ENI said it was not yet possible to determine the cause of the spill.

“During loading operations on a tanker on November 27, an oil spill in the sea was seen. Operations were immediately suspended and resumed only after it was verified that the vessel’s structures were not damaged and were not leaking,” the company said in an emailed statement, according to Reuters.

Vast stretches of the delta’s unique mangrove swamps are blackened and dead from oil pollution caused by hundreds of leaks every year from pipelines that pass through the delta’s creeks.

ENI in particular reported 471 spills in the Niger Delta, compared with the 138 from Shell from January to September, according to a recent Amnesty International report. ENI’s Nigerian subsidiary frequently blames saboteurs, but Amnesty said there’s “absolutely no information” to support their claims.

“For the last decade oil companies in Nigeria, in particular Shell, have defended the scale of pollution by claiming that the vast majority of oil spills are caused by sabotage and theft of oil,” the report said. “There is no legitimate basis for this claim.”

Nigerian legislators are considering a law to impose new fines on operators responsible for oil spills, a measure that could land major foreign companies with penalties running into tens of millions of dollars a year.

Francis Clinton Tubo Ikagi, chairman of the Odioama fishing community in Bayelsa, where a large part of the Niger river fans out through creeks into the Atlantic, told journalists on the scene that he saw a large oil slick on Nov. 20.

“I saw a very thick layer of crude oil on the river,” he said.” “The community is affected seriously. Our women and men whose main livelihood source is fishing are complaining bitterly to us that the whole river is full of oil.”

Read more: Aljazeera America


‘State of the World’s Rivers’ Project Documents Decline in Rivers From Dams

Last modified on 2014-08-29 17:03:10 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“Many of the world’s great river basins have been dammed to the point of serious decline, including the Mississippi, Yangtze, Paraná and Danube.

“The evidence we’ve compiled of planetary-scale impacts from river change is strong enough to warrant a major international focus on understanding the thresholds for ‘river change’ in the world’s major basins, and for the planet as a whole system,” said Jason Rainey, Executive Director of International Rivers.

For example, in the Middle East, decades of dam building in the Tigris-Euphrates basin have made it one of the most fragmented basins in the world. As a result, the basin’s flooded grassland marshes have significantly decreased, leading to the disappearance of salt-tolerant vegetation that helped protect coastal areas, and a reduction in the plankton-rich waters that fertilize surrounding soils. Habitat has decreased for 52 native fish species, migratory bird species, and mammals such as the water buffalo, antelopes and gazelles, and the jerboa.

Meanwhile, some of the lesser-dammed basins, which are still relatively healthy at this point, are being targeted for major damming. For example, the most biodiverse basin in the world, the Amazon, still provides habitat for roughly 14,000 species of mammals, 2,200 fish species, 1,500 bird species, and more than 1,000 amphibian species, like the Amazon River Dolphin, the Amazonian Manatee, and the Giant Otter.

When all dam sizes are counted, an astonishing 412 dams are planned or under construction in the Paraná basin, and 254 in the Amazon basin. In Asia, China plans to continue to dam the Yangtze basin with at least another 94 planned large dams, while an additional 73 are under construction. At least 153 more dams are planned or already being built in the Mekong basin.”

Read more: International Rivers


How Do We Avert A Thirsty Future?

Last modified on 2014-07-15 13:38:56 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“Adequate availability of water, food and energy is critical to global security. Water – the sustainer of life and livelihoods – is already the world’s most exploited natural resource. With nature’s capacity for providing renewable freshwater lagging behind humanity’s current rate of utilization, tomorrow’s water is being used to meet today’s need.

Consequently, the resources of shared rivers, aquifers and lakes have become the target of rival appropriation plans. Canada, which is the Saudi Arabia of the freshwater world, is fortunate to be blessed with exceptional water wealth. But more than half of the global population lives in conditions of water distress.

The struggle for water is exacerbating effects on the earth’s ecosystems. Groundwater depletion, for its part, is affecting natural stream flows, groundwater-fed wetlands and lakes, and related ecosystems.

If resources like water are degraded and depleted, environmental refugees will follow. Sanaa in Yemen risks becoming the first capital city to run out of water. If Bangladesh bears the main impact of China’s damming of River Brahmaputra, the resulting exodus of thirsty refugees will compound India’s security challenges.

Silent water wars between states, meanwhile, are already being waged in several regions, including by building dams on international rivers and by resorting to coercive diplomacy to prevent such construction. Examples include China’s frenetic upstream dam building in its borderlands and downriver Egypt’s threats of military reprisals against the ongoing Ethiopian construction of a large dam on the Blue Nile.”

Read more: The Globe and Mail


Beware large dams and their handlers — study

Last modified on 2014-03-12 14:58:59 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“MEGAPROJECTS should be approached with caution, as few managers anywhere in the world are able to forecast their costs and deadlines correctly, new research on megadams between 1934 and 2007 shows.

This applies particularly in the energy field and in Africa, making South Africa’s support for the largest hydropower scheme in the world, the $100bn Grand Inga project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, quite risky.

Large dams usually overshoot their budgets by an average of 96%, which is more than any other asset class, including rail, roads and tunnels, Atif Ansar, Oxford University lecturer and associate fellow at its Saïd Business School tells Business Day.

Dr Ansar has co-authored a report published this month in Energy Policy journal, titled Should We Build More Large Dams? The Actual Cost of Hydropower Megaproject Development. “One ill-conceived dam in a developing country has the potential to cause a sovereign debt crisis,” he says.

Pakistan’s Tarbela dam, built in the 1970s, resulted in a 23% increase in Pakistan’s external public debt stock between 1968 and 1984. Pakistan is still paying, decades later, says Dr Ansar.

Costs of dams are often too high to deliver risk-adjusted returns even in developed countries, his research has found.

Three out of every four large dams surveyed suffered cost overruns. They also took an average of 8.6 years to build, often making them ill-advised, and even dangerous.

African nations are particularly vulnerable. Costs are likely to spiral in countries with low per-capita incomes, unstable currencies and high inflation rates. Without strong economic fundamentals, as well as high-level expertise to manage complex projects, developing countries are at risk of damaging their economies by constructing large dams, Dr Ansar says.

Brazil’s $14.4bn megadam, the Belo Monte hydroelectric project, is a classic example.”

Read more: BDlive


Omo River, Lake Turkana at Risk from Dams and Plantations

Last modified on 2014-02-22 15:18:19 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“Dams and irrigated plantations being built in Ethiopia will bring major changes to the flow of the Lower Omo River, which in turn will harm ecosystem functions and local livelihoods all the way to the river’s terminus at Lake Turkana in Kenya. More dams are planned for the basin that would compound the damages.

Here we outline some of the basic changes that can be expected as a result of these developments, and include resources on where to get more information.

Fast Facts

  • The Gibe III reservoir is expected to start filling at the beginning of the next Kiremt rainy season (approximately May 2014); filling the reservoir will take up to three years. During this time, the river’s yearly flow will drop as much as 70%.
  • The Gibe III will provide stable flows year-round that will enable the growth of large commercial agricultural plantations in the Lower Omo. The Kuraz sugar plantation and additional areas identified for cultivation could eventually take almost half of the Omo River inflow to Lake Turkana.
  • These projects will cause a decrease in river flow and the size, length, and number of floods, which will be disastrous for downstream users. This is the first year in which runoff from the Kiremt season, which is vital for flood-recession agriculture, restoration of grazing areas, and fisheries production, will be almost completely blocked.”

Read more: International Rivers


Egypt’s Generals Face a Watery Battle

Last modified on 2014-02-06 18:29:22 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“Heavy reliance on water intensive crops, a major upstream dam project for the Nile basin, and rising groundwater levels pushing at pharaoh-era monuments will be pressing issues for the next Egyptian president – whether military or civilian.

As criticism continues over the military’s heavy-handedness to quell protests, little attention is being given to the late January announcement by Egypt’s minister of irrigation and water resources on the growing severity of the country’s water shortage: share of water per citizen stands at 640 cubic metres, compared with an international standard of 1,000.

The minister said he expected this amount to decrease to 370 cubic metres by 2050 due to a rapidly growing population.

A scientist working in the water resources sector expressed cautious hope to IPS that “the military is one of the few institutions that can actually get things done.” But he added: “That said, they were in power for a long time and didn’t do anything.”

Improving irrigation practices and countering the demographic explosion are some of the most commonly cited actions to be considered, as well as reducing the use of pesticides and improving sewage and waste disposal systems to prevent contaminating the limited water supplies available.”

Read more: IPS


World Bank Indefinitely Postpones Inga 3 Project

Last modified on 2014-02-06 16:24:45 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“The World Bank has just made a surprise decision to indefinitely postpone the board discussion of its support for the huge Inga 3 Dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Bank’s board of directors was scheduled to vote on February 11 on a US$73 million grant to prepare for the project. Opposition from local and international NGOs has been mounting, and civil society groups are now urging the Bank to fundamentally reconsider the Inga 3 project.

As proposed, the Inga 3 Dam would generate power for mining companies and the South African market, not for the more than 90% of the DRC population that has no access to electricity. In a letter to the World Bank, a coalition of 12 Congolese NGOs asks that the needs of the local population be prioritized in a comprehensive assessment of the country’s energy needs and options. If the Inga 3 Dam were to go ahead, they state, at least 50% of the power generated by the dam should serve the energy needs of the population.

Danny Singoma, Executive Director of the Congolese NGO CENADEP, comments: “The project assumes that the revenues from the power exports will benefit local people. These kinds of development have never worked in our country, where there is so much corruption and no accountability to the citizens by those in power.”

The DRC has a large potential of clean local energy sources such as solar and micro-hydropower. Rudo Sanyanga, Africa Program Director for International Rivers, comments: “Decentralized energy is the only feasible way of meeting the energy needs of the majority in such a vast country with limited capacity for maintaining huge infrastructure.”

Read more: International Rivers


Nile Delta Disappearing Beneath the Sea

Last modified on 2014-01-29 17:11:20 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“It only takes a light covering of seawater to render land infertile, so Mohamed Saeed keeps a close watch on the sea as it advances year after year towards his two-hectare plot of land. The young farmer, whose clover field lies just 400 metres from Egypt’s northern coast, reckons he has less than a decade before his field – and livelihood – submerges beneath the sea.

But even before that, his crops will wither and die as seawater infiltrates the local aquifer. The process has already begun, he says, clutching a handful of white-caked soil.

“The land has become sick,” says Saeed. “The soil is saline, the irrigation water is saline, and we have to use a lot of fertilisers to grow anything on it.”

Spread over 25,000 kilometres, the densely populated Nile Delta is the breadbasket of Egypt, accounting for two-thirds of the country’s agricultural production and home to 40 million people. Its northern flank, running 240 kilometres from Alexandria to Port Said, is one of the most vulnerable coastlines in the world, facing the triple threat of coastal erosion, saltwater infiltration, and rising sea levels.

According to Khaled Ouda, a geologist at Assiut University, a 30 centimetres rise in sea level would inundate 6,000 square kilometres of the Nile Delta. The flooding would create islands out of an additional 2,000 square kilometres of elevated land, isolating towns, roads, fields, and industrial facilities.”

Read more: IPS News


Sudan: Severe Lack of Drinking Water in South Darfur Camps

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:55 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: All Africa

“South Darfur — The South Darfur camps for the displaced are allegedly suffering from a severe lack of drinking water. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, the spokesperson for the Association of Displaced People and Refugees of Darfur, Hussein Abu Sharati, reported that the inhabitants of the South Darfur camps for the displaced are suffering from a water shortage, putting the health and the lives of the citizens at risk.

“They have severe difficulty to access even a small amount of drinking water.”

Sharati explained that the water problem is caused by both a lack of fuel for the water pumps and the arrival of newly displaced people at the camps, in addition to withdrawal of organizations working in the field of water. “They left the provision of water to the supervision and responsibility of the camp residents.”

The spokesperson noted that although the World Food Programme, the International Organization for Migration and organizations working in the field of water in South Darfur are aware of the problem, they did not help out with any solution for the camps residents’ lack of financial means the lack of financial to handle the water pumps.

Sharati appealed to the international community and the United Nations to intervene quickly in order to “avoid a humanitarian disaster”.

Read more: Silo breaker

Conflicts Over Water Rise in Tanzania

Last modified on 2013-10-24 17:02:05 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“Conflicts over water are increasing in the sprawling Pangani River Basin in northeastern Tanzania as farmers and herders jostle for dwindling water resources in the face of climate change.

Over the past decade, Maasai pastoralists from the northern areas of Moshi and Arusha have been streaming towards the basin with tens of thousands of their cattle in search of water and grazing pasture.

Hafsa Mtasiwa, the Pangani district commissioner, told IPS that the Maasais’ traditional land was strained by overuse of water resources and overgrazing. She said in the last three years 2,987 herders with 87,1321 cows and 98,341 goats moved into the basin’s low land, destroying arable land.

She said that although the government of this East African nation was trying to control the influx into the basin, a lack of policy coordination between relevant regional authorities made this difficult.

“This is a very complex issue whose solution requires a general consensus between the fighting groups. You don’t simply chase away cattle keepers. We must educate them on the need to respect the rights of the others,” she said.

The Pangani River Basin, which sprawls across 48,000 square kilometres, is already stressed as it faces continued demands on its water resources and ecosystems.

According to the Water and Nature Initiative of the International Union of Conservation of Nature, the basin has a population of 3.4 million people, “80 percent of whom rely on small-scale farming. Ecosystems are in decline and, with aquatic resources supplying up to 25 percent of household income in parts of the basin, the poorest are those most affected by declining water levels.”

Statistics from the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) show rainfall patterns across many parts of the Pangani River Basin have drastically dropped in the past 10 years. Some areas that recorded 990 mm of rainfall a decade ago receive almost half of this now.”

Read more: Toward Freedom


Massive Aquifer Discovered in Kenya holds 70 Years Worth of Water, May Reshape Nation

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:52 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Water gushing out of a borehole at Napuu area during the flushing process.

Retrieved from: Nature world news

“A newly-discovered aquifer in Kenya’s arid Turkana region contains enough water to meet the nation’s needs for the next 70 years.

The discovery of the Lotikipi Basin Aquifer was officially announced Wednesday at an international water security meeting of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in Nairobi.

The find is certainly a boon for the African nation, especially in a region known to be one of the driest parts of Kenya. In addition to Lotikipi, four other water reserves were also found, although moreresearch is needed to determine their viability.

“The news about these water reserves comes at a time when reliable water supplies are highly needed. This newly found wealth of water opens a door to a more prosperous future for the people of Turkana and the nation as a whole. We must now work to further explore these resources responsibly and safeguard them for future generations,” Kenya’s Environment Minister Judi Wakhungu said.”

Read more: Nature world news

South Africa to Start Pumping Acid Water From Johannesburg Mines

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:50 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: Water conservation

“South Africa will begin pumping acid water from disused mines that’s threatening to flood Johannesburg, according to the Department of Water Affairs.

Acid water seeping from shuttered gold mines is rising under Johannesburg and, if left untreated, could pollute its water supply or flood the city. Iron disulfide, the “fool’s gold” found in left-over rocks from gold mining, combines with rainwater to form sulfuric acid and other chemicals.

“We hope to get those pumps operational by October or November this year to keep the water level below the environmentally critical level,” Balzer said in an interview yesterday. The government plans a tender for rights to treat the water toward the end of the year.

“The acid water under Johannesburg was formed during a gold-mining boom lasting more than a century from the 1890s. It has progressively filled underground cavities that lie under South Africa’s biggest city, according to a 2011 study by the University of the Witwatersrand.”

Read more: Bloomberg

The World Bank is bringing back big, bad dams

Last modified on 2013-07-17 15:28:24 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“Following a trend set by new financiers from China and Brazil, the World Bank now wants to return to supporting mega-dams that aim to transform whole regions. In March, it argued that such projects could “catalyse very large-scale benefits to improve access to infrastructure services” and combat climate change at the same time. Its board of directors will discuss the return to mega-dams as part of a new energy strategy on Tuesday.

The World Bank has identified the $12bn (£8bn) Inga 3 Dam on the Congo River – the most expensive hydropower project ever proposed in Africa – and two other multi-billion dollar schemes on the Zambezi River as illustrative examples of its new approach. All three projects would primarily generate electricity for the mining companies and middle-class consumers of Southern Africa.

The World Bank ignores that better solutions are readily available. In the past 10 years, governments and private investors installed more new wind power than hydropower capacity. Last year, even solar power – long decried as a Mickey Mouse technology by the dam industry – caught up with new hydropower investment. Wind and solar power are not only climate friendly, they are also more effective than big dams in reaching the rural poor in sub-Saharan Africa, most of whom are not connected to the electric grid.”

Read more: The Guardian


Karuma Villagers Want Dam Halted

Last modified on 2013-07-11 16:16:45 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“After winning the contract for the construction of Karuma hydropower project, Chinese firm Sinohydro promised to start work within two weeks.

However, this might not be possible, following fresh wrangles that threaten to delay the project. Besides compensation wrangles, a rival Chinese company, China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE), has gone to court to challenge the award of the contract to Synohydro.

The families affected by the project have petitioned the Electricity Disputes Tribunal, pursuant to the Electricity Act, seeking to halt construction of the dam until compensation rates have been agreed on.
Once completed in seven years’ time, the dam is expected to spur economic growth.

In a representative suit between William Ogik versus Attorney General, more than 54 project-affected families are contesting the “meagre” compensation rates offered. According to the complainants, the rates are inconsistent with inflation trends in the country.

Ogik is one of the residents of Awoo and Diima villages, Mutunda sub-county, Kiryandongo district, who must pave way for the construction of the 600MW hydropower project. The Karuma dam project is to displace more than 400 families in the four villages of Karuma, Awoo, Nora, and Akurudia in Kiryandongo district.

“We want the project but we need to be reasonably compensated. We want the right value for our property,” Ogik told The Observer after appearing before the tribunal.”

Read more: The Observer


Congo-Kinshasa: Inga III – the Giant Is Awakening

Last modified on 2013-07-09 15:03:09 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“Within slightly more than two years, construction work for a third dam and hydropower station should start at the Inga falls on the Congo river in the Bas-Congo province, about 230 km downstream of Kinshasa.

At least that is the Congolese government’s intention, expressed on the 17 and 18 May at a Paris conference attended by a number of potential financiers. These included the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

According to the Congolese Minister of Water Resources and Electricity, Bruno Kapandji Kalala, construction works will take approximately six years. The project, the total cost of which is estimated by the AfDB at US $12 billion, would generate 4800 MW – more than half (2500 MW) of which will be sold to South Africa.

Inga III, which is the first phase of the far more ambitious Grand Inga project, is one of the New Economic Partnership for African Development’s (NEPAD) flagship projects. It will involve huge works. First of all, part of the flow will be diverted upstream of the existing Inga I (351 MW) and Inga II dams (1424 MW) to a presently dry valley which runs parallel to the Congo riverbed. Further phases would involve the construction of a dam which would entirely bar the course of the Congo River and divert most of the flow towards the Bundi valley and Inga III, whose 100 meter-high wall would enable the production of more electricity by additional turbines, up to 39,000 MW.”

Read more: All Africa


Chinese factory accused of poisoning Somaliland water supplies

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:50 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: Circle of blue

“A Chinese-owned tanning factory based in Somaliland has been accused of dumping dangerous chemicals in waterways. But the government has failed to intervene for fear of spooking foreign investment, according to local people.

Jeronimo Group of Industries and Trading PLC, a subsidiary of Chinese glove-making firm Phiss, is the first and only foreign-owned company in the breakaway east African state. It has been operating a factory in the village of Dar-Buruq, 60km outside the capital Hargeisa, since 2008.

People living near the factory have made numerous complaints about respiratory problems. A former worker at Jeronimo named Ibrahim said that one day, while mixing chromium compounds without a mask, he was overcome by the smell and fell down, hitting his head. “The company did not take me to the hospital,” he says. “To this day I still have breathing problems.” Other locals confirmed many health complaints had been made.

When the Guardian investigated the Jeronimo compound it found an unbearable smell, and workers with no face masks or proper shoes and sacks of corrosive material spilling onto the factory floor.

Industrial waste is dumped in local waterways, the company admits, but it is adamant it has adhered to local and international rules governing the tanning industry. Livestock, which comprises up to 80% of local trade, has disappeared as animals refuse to drink the water and their herders move elsewhere, said one village elder. “[The livestock industry here] is dead, which has also created poverty,” says Mohammed, a local government official. “The water here was free; God-given. Now people have to buy it from travelling sellers. A 20-litre jerry can costs 10,000 Somaliland shillings ($0.80). It is too much.”

Read more: Guardian

Egypt Sees a Dam Confrontation

Last modified on 2013-06-26 17:25:51 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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“Ethiopia began diverting the course of the Blue Nile, the primary source of Egypt’s Nile water, on May 28 in another step towards construction of its massive 4.2-billion dollar hydroelectric Grand Renaissance Dam project. When complete, the dam will be capable of producing 6,000 megawatts of electricity, making it Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant.

Egypt, fearing the dam’s potentially adverse impact on its traditional share of Nile water, reacted to the move with indignation and outrage. Local headlines trumpeted the “imminent threat” posed by the dam to Egypt’s water security.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, along with political figures from across the spectrum, rushed to express their readiness to defend the country’s access to Nile water.

Speaking before an all-Islamist audience at a Jun. 11 conference devoted specifically to the Ethiopia dam crisis, Morsi – who hails from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood – called for a diplomatic resolution, but warned that “all options” remained open in terms of a response.

“We are not calling for war, but we will never allow our water security…to come under threat,” he declared.

Morsi went on to call for “national reconciliation,” urging Egypt’s rival political camps – the ruling Islamists and secular opposition – to forget their differences in order to counter looming threats to the Nile.”

Read more: IPS


Zimbabwe: Making a Business Out of Water Rationing

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:49 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: Sphotos

“For 61-year-old Sarah Chikwanha from water-starved Chitungwiza, a town about 25 kilometres outside Harare, Zimbabwe, there is no choice. She must buy her water from illegal water traders, whose businesses have sprung up across the country.

“We only have water once weekly in Chitungwiza, and so I have no choice but to buy from dealers at 95 dollars for a 2,500-litre tank,” Chikwanha told IPS.

These new, illegal businesses are the result of the dire need for water, as rationing in towns and cities continues because of shortages of water treatment chemicals in this southern African nation.

Harare’s mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda, has gone on record saying that the council needs three million dollars a month for water treatment chemicals, a challenge compounded by the city’s obligation to supply water to neighbouring towns like Chitungwiza, Norton, and Ruwa.

Statistics from the Harare Residents Trust (HRT), an advocacy group, indicate that only 192,000 households in Harare are connected to the water system, while the rest depend on boreholes or rainwater.

Harare needs 1,300 megalitres of water daily, but the current supply ranges from 600 to 700 megalitres.

Councillors from Chitungwiza, where Chikwanha lives, told IPS that the council there failed to pay for water supplied by Harare’s Lake Chivero, thus intensifying water rationing in a town of nearly two million people. People have now turned to wells, streams and inadequate boreholes, as well as illegal traders, for their water.

Panganayi Charumbira, a councillor from Harare’s Budiriro low-income suburb, told IPS that both Zimbabwe’s urban and rural areas were affected. “The water crisis is getting worse in towns, but it’s even worse in the countryside,” Charumbira said.”

Read more: All Africa

Egypt warns ‘all options open’ on Ethiopia dam

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:47 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: Daily star

“Egypt will demand that Ethiopia stop construction of a Nile river dam and warned “all options are open” if it harms its water supply, advisers to President Mohamed Morsi said on Wednesday.

“It is Egypt’s right to defend its interests,” said Ayman Ali, one of Morsi’s advisers, in comments carried by the official MENA news agency.

The presidency has said the dam is a “national security” issue for Egypt.

“Demanding of Ethiopia to stop construction of the dam it intends to build on the Blue Nile will be our first step,” MENA quoted Presidential adviser Pakinam El Sharkawy as saying.

Egypt believes its “historic rights” to the Nile are guaranteed by two treaties from 1929 and 1959 which allow it 87 percent of the Nile’s flow and give it veto power over upstream projects.

But a new deal was signed in 2010 by other Nile Basin countries, including Ethiopia, allowing them to work on river projects without Cairo’s prior agreement.”

Read more: Nation

Ethiopia diverts Nile for huge hydro dam

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:46 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: Seeker401

“Ethiopia began diverting a stretch of the Nile on Tuesday to make way for a $4.7 billion hydroelectric dam that is worrying downstream countries dependent on the world’s longest river for water.

The Horn of Africa country has laid out plans to invest more than $12 billion in harnessing the rivers that run through its rugged highlands, to become Africa’s leading power exporter.

Centrepiece to the plan is the Grand Renaissance Dam being built in the Benishangul-Gumuz region bordering Sudan. Now 21 percent complete, it will eventually have a 6,000 megawatt capacity, the government says, equivalent to six nuclear power plants.

Ethiopia’s ambitions have heightened concerns in Egypt over fears the projects may reduce the river’s flow. Addis Ababa has long complained that Cairo was pressuring donor countries and international lenders to withhold funding.”

Read more: Reuters

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