AFRICA

Sudan Seeks To Tap ‘Blue Gold’

Last modified on 2011-06-27 17:30:40 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.zawya.com

“Sudan is aggressively seeking to tap its abundant Nile waters with new dam projects as the oil-rich south’s independence looms, but experts warn of the social and environmental costs, and the bearing on the Nile water sharing dispute.

Khartoum sits on the confluence of the Blue and White Niles.

The cash-strapped government has good reasons for wanting to exploit its “blue gold,” a valuable resource that will help to offset the imminent loss of revenues from southern oil — some 36 percent of its income — when south Sudan proclaims independence on July 9.

“Sudan is clearly gearing up in terms of agriculture, because of the oil gap that comes with the separation of the south. To the extent that it can do more in the way of dams, that is its economic security,” said a Sudan-based environmentalist, requesting anonymity.

Last week, during a ministerial visit, the engineer responsible for heightening the vast Roseires dam, on the Blue Nile, said the $400 million project, which is due for completion in June 2012, would create three million feddans (1.3 million hectares) of farmland.”

Read more: Zawya

 

At Least 10 Killed In North Kenya Clashes: Police

Last modified on 2011-06-27 15:35:02 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.climatesecurity.com

“Clashes over control of grazing land and water sources in drought-afflicted northern Kenya killed at least 10 people on Saturday, police said.

Police and local leaders said the fighting occurred on the border between the Isiolo and Samburu districts, an area that is prone to drought and has been plagued by deadly clashes over resources in the past few years.

Marcus Ochola, the deputy police commissioner for Eastern Province, told Reuters six raiders and four local herders had been killed, more people had been wounded and the death toll might rise.

Civic leader Abdullahi Golicha also put the death toll at 10, split roughly between raiders and herders, and said the fighting was still going on so there could be more casualties.”

Read more: Reuters

 

Water For Peace In Darfur

Last modified on 2011-06-26 05:27:25 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.oikoumene.org

“Dwindling natural resources, caused in part by climate change, had pitted nomads against farmers and others who previously lived in harmony until desertification forced them to compete violently for water.

While his words generated some controversy at the time, the United Nations is now backing serious efforts to right the ecological situation in Darfur as a key driver for peace.

On 27-28 June, the UN, AU and Sudan’s Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources open a major international conference on Water for Sustainable Peace in Darfur. Some 200 experts on water and development will gather in Khartoum to address the challenge of creating a sustainable water sector for Darfur. That reversing environmental degradation must happen in order to establish recovery and sustainable peace in Darfur is now accepted wisdom.

While there is water underground below the sands of Darfur, the stark reality is that some areas are facing chronic depletion of water resources. Camps for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons are running dry. The water supply for rapidly growing towns is plummeting. The population of Nyala in South Darfur, for example, has grown by 300 percent in 30 years while the water table has fallen by eight to 10 metres. Another year of low rainfall could mean that aquifers under these camps and urban centres could fail catastrophically. The gravity and urgency posed by this situation cannot be ignored and impact the chances for peace.”

Read more: Next

 

Estuaries on the northwestern coast of Madagascar As Seen From Orbit

Last modified on 2011-06-23 17:06:04 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Estuaries on the northwestern coast of Madagascar are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station. Photo retrieved from: www.spaceref.com

“This photograph highlights two estuaries located along the northwestern coastline of the island of Madagascar. The Mozambique Channel (top) separates Madagascar from the southeastern coast of Africa. Bombetoka Bay (upper left) is fed by the Betsiboka River and is a frequent subject of astronaut photography due to its striking red floodplain sediments. Mahajamba Bay (right) is fed by several rivers including the Mahajamba and Sofia Rivers; like the Betsiboka, the floodplains of these rivers also contain reddish sediments eroded from their basins upstream.

The brackish (mix of fresh and salty water) conditions found in most estuaries host unique plant and animal species adapted to live in such environments. Mangroves in particular are a common plant species found in and around Madagascar estuaries, and Bombetoka Bay contains some of the largest remaining stands. Estuaries also host abundant fish and shellfish species — many of which need access to freshwater for a portion of their life cycles — and these in turn support local and migratory bird species that prey on them.

However, human activities such as urban development, overfishing, and increased sediment loading from erosion of upriver highlands threaten the ecosystem health of the estuaries. In particular, the silt deposits in Bombetoka Bay at the mouth of the Betsiboka River have been filling in the bay.”

Read more: Spaceref

Struggle Over The Nile

Last modified on 2011-06-14 17:10:08 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.aljazeera.net

“For centuries, Egypt has sought to be Master of the Nile – seeking to tame the river’s unpredictable flow and ensure exclusive control over its use.

“We are wholly dependent on the Nile. We have no other water sources. So, the truth is any threat against the Nile waters will result in the reduction of Egypt’s share. This would threaten us with thirst and death …. We don’t have hostile intentions against anyone. We don’t go to war just for the sake of fighting. But if someone is going to stop the water, Egypt will die of thirst. Then we will fight … with all means available”

Hussam Swailam, former Egyptian military general

But today, countries upstream are challenging this dominance and pushing for a greater say and greater share of the River Nile.”

“I know that some people in Egypt have old-fashioned ideas based on the assumption that the Nile water belongs to them and that Egypt has the right to decide … who gets what of the Nile water and that the upper riparian countries are unable to use the Nile water because they will be unstable and because they will be poor. These circumstances have changed and changed forever”

Read more: Aljazeera

 

Water Scarcity Root of Darfur Conflict

Last modified on 2011-06-12 14:03:55 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.africascience.com

“The conflict in Western Sudan’s Darfur region erupted more than eight years ago.  It has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced an estimated two million people.  Disputes over scarce water and grazing land between black African farmers and Arab pastoralist communities triggered the war.  Lack of access to water remains one of the major drivers of the ongoing conflict in Darfur.   An international conference in Khartoum at the end of June will focus on the critical issue of water and how the equitable use and management of this limited resource can help build peace in this troubled region.

When people in developed countries want water, they turn on the tap.

When people in Darfur want water, they have to search far and wide for it.

A UN video shows women and children walking long distances through the arid desert to fetch water in Darfur.  They wait in lengthy lines at the communal well to fill their jerry cans with water for their drinking and washing needs.  This process is repeated every three or four days.

According to the United Nations, one person uses nearly 400 liters of water per day, in the world’s wealthiest countries.  In Darfur, 400 liters of water is shared by 20 people.”

Read more: voanews

Mozambique’s Lake Niassa Declared Reserve and Ramsar Site

Last modified on 2011-06-12 13:53:11 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

Lake Niassa. Photo retrieved from: www.considerafrica.com

“The Government of Mozambique has also approved the proposal for the designation of Lake Niassa as a Ramsar site, including not only the reserve, but surrounding wetlands and watershed. This wetland will be the second Ramsar site for Mozambique after the declaration of Marromeu Complex in 2003.

Lake Niassa, spanning 3,369,776 acres and almost 2,300 feet deep is Mozambique’s part of the third largest and the second deepest lake in Africa.

“Globally, Lake Niassa is exceptional. Ninety-nine percent of the freshwater fish species that inhabit its waters only occur within this lake — scientists estimate that up to 1,000 freshwater fish species will eventually be described; a total that would equal more than the number of fish species found in all of the United States and Canada,” said Michele Thieme, WWF-US Freshwater Conservation Biologist.

Through collaboration of the Government of Mozambique (Ministries of Tourism, Fisheries, Environment and Defense, the Niassa Provincial Government), USAID, The Coca-Cola Company and WWF, village level mechanisms for monitoring illegal and overfishing, erosion and deforestation, managing fisheries, and mitigating the impacts of climate change were developed. Zones were created that will allow for total protection of species in some areas, seasonal protection in others, depending on spawning times and dedicated artisanal fishing areas.”

Read more: PR Web

 

The Commodification of Water And Land in Mali

Last modified on 2011-06-10 18:05:21 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.karimsahai.photoshelter.com

“This ecological representation of water as a common good explains why the creation of the ‘water business’ and the commercial logic of ‘public-private partnerships’ is so unacceptable. This commercially based logic, over and above preaching democratisation and good governance, involves predatory appropriation of wealth that belongs to others by the private sector; this is carried out through privatisations that have actually been totally discredited in Africa since the 1980s.

This logic is implemented by the private multinationals of the water sector and their allies (World Bank, IMF and the elite of African leaders). They do so by classical forms of privatisation (joint management, concessions, delegation of management), as well as so-called innovative practice (participation of the private sector, partnerships between water operators, prepaid metres, water heritage companies etc). The logic is one of domination and it excludes political participation of citizens and users. In Mali, these users have discreetly been transformed into a GIE (Economic Interest Group). (Translator’s note: A legally recognised French form of business consortium) and educated according to the management gospel of the water multinationals, according to which one is supposed to ‘make water pay for itself’. This implies that water is sold, commoditised, considered in the same way as oil. Citizens are encouraged to forget their rights and obligations as political subjects responsible for defining their own future. They are led instead to believe that this responsibility lies in the hands of the commercially minded technocracy.

The United Nations declared 2008 as the international year of rights to water and sanitation. On 28 July 2010 they adopted a resolution that declared the right to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right. In order to avoid this being mere lip service, citizens need to take renewed control of their political responsibilities. Water needs to be removed from the WTO GATS framework (General Agreement on Trade and Services).”

Read more: allAfrica.com

 

How Dams Can Bring About Rainfalls and Drought

Last modified on 2011-06-09 15:03:41 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.internationalrivers.org

“It is undisputed that dams can influence local rainfalls. Humidity evaporates from reservoirs and irrigated fields and gets recycled as rainfall. Evaporation from reservoirs can also cause more frequent storms. On the other hand, dams and levees can reduce evaporation and rainfalls when they drain wetlands and open up woodlands for deforestation.

The Niger Delta in West Africa illustrates how dams can influence rainfalls. In September, the delta’s wetlands extend to an area of 30,000 square kilometers – roughly the size of Belgium – and feed rainfalls over a much larger region. Yet upstream dams on the Niger have reduced the flows into the delta by 10-15%, and a major proposed hydropower project upstream on the river would reduce inflows by a further 33%. “Such a change would significantly reduce the window in the seasonal cycle when the wetland can influence rainfall,” warns Christopher Taylor of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Great Britain.

What does this mean for the Three Gorges Dam? A group of researchers in the US and in China analyzed regional rainfall data before and after the completion of the dam on the Yangtze. They found that precipitation decreased somewhat south of the reservoir, and increased significantly about 100 kilometers north of the reservoir.

Yet the rainfalls around the reservoir are only half the story. The dam has impacts on wetlands throughout the lower Yangtze basin. During the flood season, the Yangtze used to greatly expand the area of the Dongting and Poyang lakes, two large flood basins in the Yangtze Valley. Their combined surface used to expand from about 4,000 to about 24,000 square kilometers every year. Land reclamation for agriculture reduced the size of the lakes, and by storing flood water for electricity generation, the Three Gorges Dam is now greatly diminishing the seasonal expansion of the two flood basins. During this year’s drought, the majestic Dongting Lake – home of the famous Chinese dragon boat races – turned into a sad mudflat with isolated pools of water.”

Read more: International Rivers

Plan B Updates: When The Nile Runs Dry

Last modified on 2011-06-08 02:30:26 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.biyokulule.com

“A new scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and India have descended on fertile plains across the African continent, acquiring huge tracts of land to produce wheat, rice and corn for consumption back home.

Some of these land acquisitions are enormous. South Korea, which imports 70 percent of its grain, has acquired 1.7 million acres in Sudan to grow wheat–an area twice the size of Rhode Island. In Ethiopia, a Saudi firm has leased 25,000 acres to grow rice, with the option of expanding this to 750,000 acres. And India has leased several hundred thousand acres there to grow corn, rice and other crops.

These land grabs shrink the food supply in famine-prone African nations and anger local farmers, who see their governments selling their ancestral lands to foreigners. They also pose a grave threat to Africa’s newest democracy: Egypt.

Egypt is a nation of bread eaters. Its citizens consume 18 million tons of wheat annually, more than half of which comes from abroad. Egypt is now the world’s leading wheat importer, and subsidized bread–for which the government doles out approximately $2 billion per year–is seen as an entitlement by the 60 percent or so of Egyptian families who depend on it.

As Egypt tries to fashion a functioning democracy after President Hosni Mubarak’s departure, land grabs to the south are threatening its ability to put bread on the table because all of Egypt’s grain is either imported or produced with water from the Nile River, which flows north through Ethiopia and Sudan before reaching Egypt. (Since rainfall in Egypt is negligible to nonexistent, its agriculture is totally dependent on the Nile.)

Unfortunately for Egypt, two of the favorite targets for land acquisitions are Ethiopia and Sudan, which together occupy three-fourths of the Nile River Basin. Today’s demands for water are such that there is little of the river when it eventually empties into the Mediterranean.”

Read more: Earth Policy Institute

Riots Over Water Cuts

Last modified on 2011-06-07 15:42:22 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.clearlyliving.com

“Hardly 20 days after the local government elections, voters from Pienaar outside Nelspruit are accusing the ANC of failing them by allowing the community of about half a million people to go without water for more than a week.

Angry members of the community burnt tyres and blockaded the streets with several objects including stones from Sunday afternoon until the early hours of Monday morning.

Members of the public order police unit had a tough time trying to control the stone-throwing community members, who also burnt a number of tyres at the crossroads in Lehau Trust near the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.

Lehau Trust forms part of the Greater Pienaar area and violence escalated towards other parts like Daantjie shortly after 6pm on Sunday, preventing motorists from passing through KaNyamazane or KaBokweni townships.

“Our members were forced to fire rubber bullets to disperse the crowds that was burning tyres, blockading the road, throwing stones and other objects,

and threatening people,” said a police spokesperson who was at the scene, Lt-Col Mtsholi Bhembe.

By yesterday morning, Bhembe told The New Age, no injuries were reported by police or community members.

A member of the community shouted that they wanted the new executive mayor of Mbombela municipality, Catherine Dlamini, to come and address them.

Dlamini later arrived in the company of several managers from Mbombela municipality as well as the head of security in the provincial government, Welcome Nkuna.

Although the mayor told the community leaders that their problem was being addressed, no common ground was found.”

Read more: The New Age

 

Drought crisis leaves struggling Somalia on the brink

Last modified on 2011-06-06 15:22:15 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.guardian.co.uk

“The current drought in Somalia is no ordinary drought. It is the worst the country has seen in 36 years. Most areas have received little or no rain for nine months. Pasture is depleted and cattle and goats are dying in large numbers, leaving thousands of animal carcasses littering the roadsides. People are seeing riverbeds dry for the first time in their lives.

Families are becoming destitute. They are dependent on livestock for survival, and have resorted to desperate measures to try to keep their animals alive. Many have used food normally kept for the family to feed their dying herds, some even going so far as to take the grass off the roofs of their houses, leaving them without adequate shelter. Children in particular are suffering from a lack of food and water. In some areas, malnutrition is affecting over 30% of children, one of the highest rates in the world.

In addition, prices of basic goods are rising and, in some regions, prices for cereals have increased by 135% since last year.

People in Somalia are no strangers to adversity. Since the 1990s they have suffered the effects of civil war and successive droughts, forcing nearly one and a half million people to flee their homes. The UN estimates that the current drought has displaced 55,000 people since January.

This combination of dry spells, violent conflict and rising prices has pushed Somalia to the brink.

The international community must do more to address the current crisis in Somalia. Due to a major funding shortfall, aid agencies are struggling to meet the needs of the 2.4 million people, a third of the population, affected by the crisis.”

Read more: Guardian

 

Groundwater Depletion Is Detected From Space

Last modified on 2011-05-31 19:35:02 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.nytimes.com

“Yet even as the data signals looming shortages, policy makers have been relatively wary of embracing the findings. California water managers, for example, have been somewhat skeptical of a recent finding by Dr. Famiglietti that from October 2003 to March 2010, aquifers under the state’s Central Valley were drawn down by 25 million acre-feet — almost enough to fill Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir.

Greg Zlotnick, a board member of the Association of California Water Agencies, said that the managers feared that the data could be marshaled to someone else’s advantage in California’s tug of war over scarce water supplies.

“There’s a lot of paranoia about policy wonks saying, ‘We’ve got to regulate the heck out of you,’ ” he said.

There are other sensitivities in arid regions around the world where groundwater basins are often shared by unfriendly neighbors — India and Pakistan, Tunisia and Libya or Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories — that are prone to suspecting one another of excessive use of this shared resource.

Water politics was hardly on Dr. Famiglietti’s mind when he first heard about Grace. In 1992, applying for a job at the University of Texas, he was interviewed by Clark R. Wilson, a geophysicist there who described a planned experiment to measure variations in Earth’s gravitational field.”

Read more: New York Times

 

Water Emerges as a Hidden Weapon

Last modified on 2011-05-29 05:30:26 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Each circular plot is about 1 km in diameter, and is able to grow a number of different crops including grains, fruits and vegetables, and crops for animal fodder. Retrieved from: www.africanagricultureblog.com

“In 1983, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi initiated a huge civil water works project known as the Great Man-Made River (GMMR) – a massive irrigation project that drew upon the underground basin reserves of the Kufra, Sirte, Morzuk, Hamada and the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer – to deliver more than five million cubic metres of water per day to cities along Libya’s coastal belt.

“The Colonel’s GMMR project was discounted when first unveiled as an uneconomic flight of fancy and a wasteful exploitation of un-renewable freshwater reserves,” Middle East-based journalist Iason Athanasiadis told IPS. “But subsequently it was hailed as a masterful work of engineering, tapping into underground aquifers so vast that they could keep the 2007 rate of dispersal going for the next 1,000 years.”

Lying beneath the four African countries Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan, the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) is the world’s largest fossil water aquifer system, covering some two million square kilometres and estimated to contain 150,000 cubic kilometres of groundwater.

Fossil water is groundwater that has been trapped in underground fossil aquifers for thousands or even millions of years. Unlike most aquifers the NSAS is a non-renewable resource, and over extraction or water mining could cause rising sea levels.

“The GMMR provides 70 percent of the population with water for drinking and irrigation, pumping it from Libya’s vast underground aquifers like the NSAS in the south to populated coastal areas 4,000 kilometres to the north,” Ivan Ivekovic, professor of political science at the American University of Cairo told IPS.

“The entire project was drawn out over five phases. Phase one took water from eastern pipelines in As- Sarir and Tazerbo to Benghazi and Sirte; phase two supplied water in Tripoli and western pipelines in Jeffara from the Fezzan region; and phase three intended to create an integrated system and increase the total daily capacity to almost four million cubic metres and provide up to 138,000 cubic metres per day to Tobruk.”

With an estimated cost of nearly 30 billion dollars, the GMMR’s network of nearly 5,000 kilometres of pipeline from more than 1,300 wells drilled up to 500 metres deep into the Sahara was also intended to increase the amount of arable land for agricultural production. ”

Read more: IPS

World Bank gives Niger $90 mln for drinking water

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:04 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Retrieved from: 990 px

“The World Bank gave Niger 90 million dollars (64 million  euros) to pay for drinking water supplies and sanitation in several parts of the country, the bank said in a statement Tuesday.

“The funds will benefit some 500,000 people in the capital Niamey and residents of the town of Tahoua in the west, as well as Agadez in the desert north and the nearby uranium mining community of Arlit.

“The project provides for equipment to distribute and store water and supply 23 urban centres with public fountains, as well as the construction of thousands of units to collect used water for sanitation.

“Landlocked in the heart of the Sahel, Niger is a large but very poor country, about two-thirds desert. Its main source of foreign income is uranium, mined by a French company.”

Read more: Google

Water shortages lead to land grab in Africa

Last modified on 2013-12-09 23:18:03 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

Retrieved from: Gadda

“Oil-rich Arab countries are the most “water stressed” in the world, according to a new analysis, and they are turning to buying water-rich land in other countries to secure their food supply.

“Maplecroft, a research firm, identifies Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as world’s most water-stressed countries, defined as those with the least available water per capita. It calculated the ratio of domestic, industrial and agricultural water consumption, against renewable supplies of water from precipitation, rivers and groundwater.

“As a means of offsetting shortfalls, India, South Korea and China, along with the oil-rich Gulf states, are acquiring water-rich land for agricultural purposes in developing countries to ensure the security of food supplies and decouple themselves from volatility in global food prices,” says Tom Styles, a Maplecroft analyst. “This recent phenomenon, dubbed ‘land grab,’ is taking place on a huge scale across many countries in Africa, especially those involved in post-conflict reconstruction with poor development.”

“Water stress is a major issue for the large emerging economies, including India and South Korea, which are both categorized as high-risk countries in the Maplecroft index. China is rated medium risk.

“The firm says water shortages in these countries have the potential to constrain economic development and create social unrest if dwindling resources result in higher prices and limited access for their populations.

“Hence the “land grab.”

Read more: market watch

RAIN in the Desert

Last modified on 2011-05-12 21:34:08 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.masterfile.com

“The Tuareg are a nomadic people who follow the sparse rains of the Sahara Desert in the West African country of Niger. The tribe moves constantly in search of pasture for their goats and sheep. Known for their camel caravans, they have relied for centuries on trading their animals for salt and other commodities. Another nomadic people, the Wodaabe, live south of the Tuareg, herding cattle across the Sahel.

The history of these proud desert people reaches back a thousand years. Severe droughts and the desertification of farmland now threaten the culture and traditional homelands of the Toureg and Wodaabe people.  The tribes have been forced to travel farther and farther away from traditional grazing grounds to keep their herds alive.

After visiting Niger as a tourist in January, 2000, Bess Palmisciano, a lawyer by trade, founded the non-profit RAIN for the Sahel and Sahara to address the needs of these people. She is a very hands-on director of the organization and was recently honored as one of New Hampshire’s “Most Remarkable Women of the World 2011” for her work in Niger.

RAIN has developed programs to improve the lives of these nomads through agriculture, education, water security, and income producing activities. The programs teach skills and practices to enable beneficiaries to become more self-sufficient.  RAIN also places special emphasis on a program to mentor girls.

TPRF recently granted $30,000 to help RAIN for the Sahel and Sahara provide three nutritious meals a day for nomadic children and to purchase animal feed for re-sale at cost to tribe members.  This is the fourth grant TPRF has made to help the people of Niger with food, clean water, grain, and emergency aid.”

 

Rift MPs Oppose Nandi World Bank Dam

Last modified on 2011-05-09 22:30:31 GMT. 1 comment. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.listravelsafaris.com

“Three MPs from Nandi are opposed to a plan to hive off 3,000 acres of on indigenous forest land in the region for the establishment of a Sh50 billion World Bank-funded water and electricity project aimed at benefitting residents of three provinces.

The MPs -David Koech, Elijah Lagat and Henry Kosgey- said they would not allow the destruction of any section of the 20,000 hectare indigenous forests at Kimondi in Nandi South for the project which is being funded through the Lake Basin Development Authority.”We are opposed to destruction of the indigenous forests which our communities have been preserving for many years”, said Koech.

The MPs said the project would have a serious impact on the environment and said the government and the donors should find alternative land in the region for the project instead of destroying forests.

The project is expected to produce more than 30 Megawatts of electricity and will supply water to areas in Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western regions.

Objection to the project has been growing with environmentalists and even local community leaders warning that the project-expected to be the biggest multi-purpose water dam in the country- would impact negatively on the environment and would destroy the few remaining sources of medicinal trees such as Elgon teak, prunes, crotons and other rare species of trees which take decades to mature.

The leaders warned that that food production in western Kenya as well as water flowing from River Yala to Lake Victoria would be negatively affected. Environmental groups and local community leaders say the project will also destroy habitation of rare antelopes and other wild species which have migrated to the forest swamps.”

Read more: allAfrica.com

 

Presidents of SA and the Democratic Republic of Congo engaging “aggressively” on Inga hydroelectric project

Last modified on 2011-05-06 19:06:44 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Photo retrieved from: www.afronline.org

“The Grand Inga project has the potential to be the largest hydroelectric project in the world, dwarfing even the Three Gorges dam in China, and could make a significant contribution not only to addressing SA’s energy needs but also to providing millions of people in other countries with access to electricity.

It has the capacity to generate 40000MW of electricity — more than SA’s current generation.

The South African government’s integrated resource plan makes provision for imported hydro power, and Ms Peters said during a panel discussion during the World Economic Forum on Africa that the quantity imported could be amended if circumstances changed.

However, development of the $80bn Grand Inga project has been hamstrung for many years by a lack of finance, and by political risk and instability . But the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other investors have expressed interest in investing in the project.

Currently, the two dams on the Inga Falls — the largest in the world, situated about 140km outside Kinshasa — operate at a low output of about 1000MW.

Ms Peters indicated that work was being undertaken by the government and scientists on clean coal technologies to reduce the carbon emissions from SA’s coal-fired power stations, which provide the bulk of the country’s electricity.”

Read more: Business Day

The Next Big Thing In Industry: Water Profiteering

Last modified on 2011-05-02 16:43:47 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Executive Director of Food & Water Watch Wenonah Hauter. Photo retrieved from: www.foodandwaterwatch.org

“My colleague, Anil Naidoo from the Council of Canadians, and I were invited to the meeting to debate the libertarian economist David Zetland and William Muhairwe, managing director of Uganda’s national water company. Both Zetland and Muhairwe are big proponents of full-cost pricing and dismissive of the government’s role in providing water.

Some may wonder why Anil and I would go there to debate, especially when the audience was comprised of people employed in the water industry. The truth is that there is no better place to really figure out what they are up to. An hour debate was a small price to pay for free entrance to the $2,500.00 event that gave us real insight into the newest plans of the global water cartel.

The conference started on a sour note with a keynote address from Michel Camdessus, former Managing Director of the IMF. Camdessus is one of the masterminds behind the scheme to force the 1.44 billion people who make $1.25 a day to pay for the full cost of water. It was also disappointing that Kofi Annan appears to be running interference for the water corporations, basically saying in his speech that the time for protest is over and that we all need to get along.

One of the most distasteful moments of the conference, which was held in a Five Star hotel in Berlin, was when Sanjay Bhatnagar, CEO of WaterHealth International, took the mic to brag about how his investors were making piles of money selling water in villages in Africa and India. WaterHealth issues smart cards that are used to fill jugs with water—a 21st century “innovation” for redistributing wealth from the poor in the developing world to the “global investors” of the company.”

Read more: Food & Water Watch

 

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