AFRICA

Moleps water blues to end soon – Kedikilwe

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:20:01 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: Mmegi Online

“Addressing a Kgotla meeting in Molepolole yesterday, the minister said that in an endeavour to stop enormous water losses in the area, WUC intends to introduce a system that will be operated from any place in the country to instruct a borehole to pump a certain amount of water at a certain pressure into a certain tank. This would stop water losses since measurements would be set in place, he said.

He noted that usually enormous amounts of water gets lost in overflowing reservoir tanks especially if there is no one to stop the borehole from pumping.

“The system is already in place in 216 of the 373 villages that WUC has taken on board.  We hope that we will have it here in Molepolole in July this year,” he said. The project will not cost anything less than P3 million, he said.

Also, WUC has identified and fixed 21 leaking pipes. The project is expected to end this month. It had been reported previously that the village loses about 32 percent of potable water underground due to leaking pipes.

The minister furthermore said that they are expecting about P3 million to buy three bowsers that will help provide water in the village.”

Read more: Mmegi

 

Dressing New York City’s Water Tanks

Last modified on 2012-02-27 18:31:50 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

 

A water tank adorned with art by Eteri Chkadua.
For 12 weeks starting in the spring and summer of 2013, several hundred of New York City’s water tanks will be wrapped with artist-designed creations. The project is the brainchild of Word Above the Street, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness about the global water supply, and was first reported online in the Art Newspaper.
Rendering by artist Eteri Chkadua for The Water Tank ProjectA water tank adorned with art by Eteri Chkadua.

“We’re hoping this project inspires New York to become more sustainable,’’ said Mary Jordan, the organization’s founder, adding that other objectives include “to promote New York City tap water and lower our consumption of plastic waste.’’

Read More: NY Times BLOG

 

Ethiopia dam project rides roughshod over heritage of local tribespeople

Last modified on 2012-02-24 18:30:57 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.guardian.co.uk

“Thousands of semi-nomadic tribespeople are being forcibly moved from their traditional lands in southern Ethiopia to make way for European and Indian sugar cane and biofuel plantations, according to testimonies collected by Survival International researchers.

Agricultural developments along the Omo river valley have accompanied the building of the 243-metre-high Gibe III dam, expected to be Ethiopia’s largest investment project and Africa‘s largest hydropower plant. But allegations of human rights abuses have marred both the dam’s construction and the creation of a 140-mile-long reservoir intended to provide water for irrigation of industrial-scale plantations.

“Clearance of people and bush has started in earnest in the Omo Valley and violence against tribal people by the military, and tribal resistance, is increasing”, says a Survival researcher who has just returned to London from the region.”

“The tribes have been told the plan is to resettle them, and that this will happen by the end of 2012. These people are among the most self-sufficient in a country where famine and hunger are prevalent.”

Read more: Guardian

SDF battle heat, water shortage in Juba

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:17:09 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: Madingaweil

“A Ground Self-Defense Force unit dispatched to South Sudan to assist U.N. peacekeeping operations is living under severe conditions, including extreme heat, a shortage of water and malaria fears.

“I wake up many times because of the heat and mosquitoes,” Maj. Nobuyoshi Matsuzaki, 44, said.

“Matsuzaki has been living in a tent at the unit’s campsite for more than a month.

“The weather in South Sudan is among the harshest in Africa, with daytime temperatures often exceeding 40 C in the current dry season. A thermometer at the camp site read 48 C on Tuesday.

“The SDF personnel sleep in tents in groups of five or six. Some have already suffered heatstroke. They keep the tent doors open as much as possible to let heat out, but this allows sand to blow in.

“To protect their personal belongings from sand, members have no other option but keeping them in large plastic bags.

“An additional problem is that only 10 percent of South Sudan has a water supply system. Forced to secure water for daily use on their own, members must drive a tanker 20 minutes to the While Nile to pump water, bring it back to the camp and then purify it.

“Each person is limited to a 15-liter tank of water for showers.”

Read more: Yomiuri

Egypt Must Ratify Nile Water Agreement

Last modified on 2012-02-22 17:17:07 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Nile river. Retrieved from: www.businessdailyafrica.com

“The impact of climate change is likely to exacerbate the water scarcity in Nile Basin in which most of its members have already been identified as water deficient countries. If such phenomena is not addressed it might lead to a regional conflict over water.

Without an agreeable water allocation mechanism and with realisation that the status quo on the Nile water usage is unsustainable, the ten riparian states: Burundi, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eriteria, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda established the Nile Basin Initiative in February 1999.

They agreed on shared vision” “to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through equitable utilisation of and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources”.

Read more: Business Daily

 

Ethiopia’s tribes cry for help

Last modified on 2012-02-18 23:49:00 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.aljazeera.com

“Violent clashes between the Ethiopian army and tribes from the region are on the rise. A local human rights worker told me of their fears of an escalation in the crisis to civil war. “Many tribes are saying they will fight back rather than be moved off their traditional lands to make way for these plantations. They are living in fear but feel they have nothing to lose by fighting back.”

Roadblocks are now in place in many parts of the Lower Omo Valley, limiting accessibility and ensuring the relocations remain out of the spotlight. Tribal rights NGO Survival International is leading calls for a freeze on plantation building and for a halt to the evictions. They have been campaigning to draw more attention to the deteriorating situation in the region since the Ethiopian government announced plans for the Gib III Dam [PDF] – Africa’s tallest, and one that is scheduled for completion later this year.

When completed, it threatens to destroy a fragile environment and the livelihoods of the tribes, which are closely linked to the river and its annual flood. Up to 500,000 people – including tribes in neighbouring Kenya – rely on the waters and adjacent lands of the Omo River and Lake Turkana, most of which lies in Kenya. The Karo people, now estimated to number just 1,500 along the eastern banks of the Omo River, face extinction. Already suffering from dwindling fish stocks as a result of the dam, the reduced river levels have also harmed their crop yields.”

Read more: Aljazeera

 

Kariba Dam Wall On Zimbabwe Side Risk Collapsing:Mangoma

Last modified on 2012-02-16 16:36:44 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Karima dam. Retrieved from: www.radiovop.com

“I repeat that the wall on the Zimbabwean side is weak and requires anchoring and this is being attended to. It is something that is high on the agenda because without the dam wall you really have nothing,” “Mangoma said.

The Kariba dam on the Zambezi River is one of the largest dams in the world, standing 128 m tall and 579 m long. The dam was built by Italians between 1955 and 1959 during the colonial time when Zimbabwe was still called Rhodesia. It borders with Zimbabwe’s northern neighbour Zambia which also generates electricity on the dam.

At the time of the construction of the dam several people and animals were killed forcing authorities to embark on an “Operation Noah” aimed at saving thousands of animals while over 57 000 people were relocated to safer areas away from the flooding rising water.”

Read more: Radio VOP

Uganda Hydropower Plant Plan Hits Funding, Technical Snags

Last modified on 2012-02-15 18:08:16 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: www.culturalsurvival.org

“Plans by Uganda to start building the planned 700 MW Karuma hydropower project this year have been thrown into jeopardy, following disagreements with would-be financiers over the design and capacity of the plant.

Days after the East African nation abolished subsidies in the energy sector, prompting a huge rise in the cost of electricity, the potenial financiers, including the Germany Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, stated that it was not realistic that the water flow at Karuma would sustain the generation of 700 MW.

They argued that it did not make economic sense for Uganda to invest heavily in the project when it was clear the plant would only achieve full capacity during specific periods. The project has a $1.3-billion price tag.”

Read more: Engineering News

 

Will Ancient Mega Lake Bring Peace To Sudan?

Last modified on 2012-02-09 20:43:02 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.greenprophet.com

“At least 300,000 people died and almost three million were displaced by the Darfur conflict in Sudan. Egyptian-American geologist Farouk El-Baz believes that limited access to water is one of the root causes of this conflict. Doctor El-Baz is director of Boston University’s center for remote sensing. He is known for his use of satellite images to search for water in the Mideast and North Africa. His work led to the discovery of a large underground water source in Egypt’s East Uweinat region near the borders with Libya, Chad and Sudan. This Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) contains over five million cubic feet of groundwater and is already bringing life and prosperity to a desolate part of the Eastern Sahara.

In 2007, Dr. El-Baz (left) used satellite-based ground penetrating radar to discover an ancient lake in the northern Darfur region of Sudan. At over 19,000 square miles this “Northern Darfur Mega-Lake” is vast– approximately the size of Lake Erie in North America.

Some time in recent geological history the lake slipped hundreds of meters beneath the desert sands and vanished from sight. Doctor El-Baz believes this underground lake can help restore peace to the Sudanese people so he proposed a 1000 wells project for Darfur.”

Read more: Green Prophet

 

Africa land grabs ‘could cause conflicts’

Last modified on 2012-02-05 06:26:18 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.guardian.co.uk

“ILC zeroed in on West Africa, where it said land acquisitions by foreign entities were causing major environmental and agricultural damage along the River Niger, at 2,265 miles the third longest river in Africa after the Nile and the Congo.

“The siphoning of water for huge areas of farmland will worsen the already low water levels of the Niger,” it said. The result was a “50 percent diminution of the delta flood plain’s land area.”

It concluded, “Given that social conflict over resources between farmers and pastoralists has always been a feature of the Niger Basin, the Coalition suggests that large-scale irrigation could heighten tension between local and downstream water users.”

On Jan. 20, two Liberian land campaigners wrote in The New York Times that the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, co-winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, was likely” “sowing the seeds of future conflict by handing over huge tracts of land to foreign investors and dispossessing rural Liberians.”
Read more: UPI

Sudan Dam Protest At President’s Doorstep

Last modified on 2012-02-03 16:06:08 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.news.carbon-future.co.uk

“We call for the rights of people affected by the dam,” their signs said.

“The peaceful protesters dispersed at the request of security officers.

It is the latest gathering in Khartoum by supporters of residents
displaced by the Merowe dam. City police forcibly broke up two
sympathetic demonstrations in December.

On November 20, about 1,000 people affected by the hydroelectric project
began a sit-in at Al-Damer, a town around 300 kilometres (180 miles)
north of Khartoum, over the government’s alleged failure to compensate
them with new homes as promised.

The sit-in continues.

Completed in 2009 at a cost of more than $2 billion (1.5 billion euros),
the Chinese-built development, northwest of Al-Damer, doubled Sudan’s
power generation capacity.

But it also forced 15,000 families from their homes three years ago to
make way for the dam and the huge reservoir that formed behind it.”

Read more: Dam and Alternatives

 

Zimbabwe’s government to give water to poor after typhoid outbreak; wealthy must buy water

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

Retrieved from: Care

“Zimbabwean authorities say they are making sure poor townships get uninterrupted water supplies after a typhoid outbreak, leaving wealthy areas with reduced supplies.

“Harare official Tendai Mahachi told reporters Tuesday well-to-do suburbs will get water about twice weekly. He said “the wealthy can afford to buy water” and cope with outages.

“At least 900 cases of the bacterial disease have been treated this year in poor western suburbs of Harare, many having had no piped water for months and even years.

“No deaths have been reported in the typhoid outbreak blamed on food contaminated by feces from broken sewers during water shortages.”

Read more: Washington Post

Sharing The Benefits Of Large Dams

Last modified on 2012-01-25 17:54:47 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.ghanaweb.com

“It’s been nearly 50 years since the Akosombo dam was built in Ghana in 1965, flooding the lands and homes of 80,000 people, creating the largest manmade lake in the world, and securing Ghana’s electricity supply.

Since then, west African countries have built more than 150 large dams. Like Akossombo, many have stimulated national development while also bringing considerable environmental and social challenges. Some local grievances have even passed down through the generations, clogging up government offices and courts with complaints over the way ageing dams were built.

Large dam construction largely went out of fashion among major donors after 1990, as global concern grew over local impacts. But the past decade has seen the World Bank and other major multilateral banks renew their support for large dams in the face of increasing energy and food demand. Can these projects avoid repeating history?”

Read more: China Dialogue

 

What Risks Lie Ahead for African Water Security?

Last modified on 2012-01-17 19:03:47 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.allafrica.com

“Africa is home to some of the largest lakes in the world, both in size and volume.

These lakes play a significant role in the political, social, economic and environmental life of many of the continent’s people and their importance is set to increase. However, the strain placed upon these water resources is also forecast to pose significant challenges for their future sustainable development. This points to the important internal dimension of African water politics. That these issues remain, for the moment, relatively marginal, also impels all those concerned with water to consider its future management with great care.

Mainstream consensus in water security and politics holds that African water resources are at risk, and that most countries are water stressed. Moreover any decision-maker has to take into account the variability of rain, risks of droughts and floods and the fact that sovereignty over rivers and lakes is often shared as a result of the demarcation of colonial borders.”

Read more: All Africa

 

South Sudan Tribal Conflict 2011-12

Last modified on 2012-01-13 19:11:20 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.trust.org

“An estimated 60,000 people have been displaced in South Sudan’s Jonglei state since late December, when some 6,000 to 8,000 armed members of the Lou Nuer tribe carried out a series of attacks on members of the rival Murle community. There have since been fatal revenge attacks by Murle members.

Following are key dates and background on factors affecting the conflict.

Key facts and figures:

* South Sudan, born in July after a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal with Sudan ended decades of civil war, is a poor country awash with weapons and where security is fragile.

* The recent attacks are the latest in a series of conflicts between the Lou Nuer and Murle cattle-herding communities over water and grazing land. Cattle have been raided and women and children abducted during conflict between the communities.

* The Murle are a minority group, marginalised politically and in terms of development. The Lou Nuer are a subgroup of the Nuer, the ethnic group of Vice President Riek Machar, and have thousands of men in the army.”

Read more: Alertnet

 

Rivers must flow: The case against big dams

Last modified on 2012-01-11 18:32:59 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.aljazeera.com

“More than 50,000 large dams now choke about two-thirds of the world’s largest rivers. The consequences of this massive engineering programme have been devastating. Large dams have wiped out species; flooded huge areas of wetlands, forests and farmlands; displaced tens of millions of people, and affected close to half a billion people living downstream.

Large dams hold back not just water, but silt and nutrients that replenish farmlands and build protective wetlands and beaches. Dams change the very riverness of our waterways, in ways we can’t always see, but that the earth can certainly feel.

Of all the complex and interconnected environmental disruptions that dams inflict on the landscape, the most obvious is the permanent inundation of forests, wetlands and wildlife. Reservoirs have flooded vast areas - at last count, the world’s dams had flooded an area bigger than the United Kingdom.

Equally important is the quality of these lost lands: river and floodplain habitats are some of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Plants and animals that are closely adapted to valley habitats often cannot survive along the edge of a reservoir.”

Read more: Aljazeera

 

 

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam: Egypt’s enemy or a blessing in disguise?

Last modified on 2012-01-06 18:42:23 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.almasryalyoum.com

“Preliminary construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GRD) began in April 2011 on the Blue Nile River near the Sudanese border. Scheduled for completion in 2014, it is planned to be the biggest hydropower dam in Africa, with more than twice the generating capacity of the Aswan High Dam. But long before the completion date, the project is already generating significant concern amongst the nine other countries that share the Nile, especially Egypt.

Over the past century many treaties have been signed in an attempt to assure each riparian country a right to Nile water, with Egypt generally receiving the lion’s share.  But sub-Saharan African counties have long argued that the old treaties deny their modern right to livelihood, and after a decade of political to-and-fro between these countries and Egypt, the GRD is now underway.

Most recently, the Egyptian government protested that no quantitative studies have been conducted with regard to the dam’s effects, a complaint that resulted in a trilateral ministerial meeting being held in November between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan.  During this meeting, it was announced that an independent technical committee of experts from each country would be formed in six months time to produce such a study.”

Read more: Egypt Independent

 

Waiting for water on the Banks of the Benue

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:16 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: Pulitzer Center

“Inquiry reveals that Makurdi’s water woes are far from over, AMETO AKPE, supported by a grant from the Pulitzer center on crisis reporting writes that poor planning and governance continues to enable the crisis.

“The inhabitants of Makurdi, capital town of Benue State located in north-central Nigeria, have waited for almost three decades for access to safe drinking water. Teased by the unfulfilled promises of one administration after the other, they have watched billions in naira squandered on projects that either never see the light of day or being flawed and poorly planned bring no real relief or at best only short-lived respite. Though this scenario is replicated all over the country, Makurdi is peculiar, as the town sits on the banks of one of Nigeria’s largest rivers, the Benue, from which the state derives its name.

“Thus in Makurdi, a popular saying plays out, ‘for many live by the riverside but wash their hands with spittle!’ Dwellers face a dreary quality of life with serious threats to health and general wellbeing, brought about and heightened by water scarcity and the inability to access safe drinking water. Most households, a greater proportion of which are poor, rely on yard wells, water vendors and streams – whose offerings are usually a cocktail of disease carrying bacteria from which many have died. A visit to Wadata, a slum neighborhood on the waterfront, gives a glimpse into the daily struggle of many.

“Residents, bereft of alternatives, wash, bath and drink from the polluted river Benue; same place where some defecate and dump garbage. Several residents testify that pipe-borne water has never run in their district, and even in relatively well off neighborhoods water runs once a week for about an hour.”

Read more: Business daily

Sudan riot police break up dam protest

Last modified on 2011-12-23 06:19:10 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.starafrica.com

“Police then forcefully moved in and detained an unknown number of the demonstrators.

Their protest came exactly one month after about 1 000 people displaced by the dam began a sit-in over the government’s alleged failure to compensate them with replacement homes as promised.

They are continuing their sit-in at Al-Damer, a town around 300km north of Khartoum.

Completed in 2009 at a cost of more than $2bn, the Chinese-built Merowe dam doubled Sudan’s power generation capacity.

But it also displaced 15 000 families, who were ordered to leave their homes three years ago to make way for the dam and the huge reservoir that formed behind it.

Protests by villagers opposed to the project broke out in 2006, leaving three people dead and dozens injured.

Khartoum sits on the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. The government has aggressively sought to tap the power of the river waters, a valuable resource that could help offset the loss of oil revenues when South Sudan separated in July.”

Read more: news24

 

 

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