Tag Archive for 'africa'

África: La Guerra Por El Agua

La sequías en África golpean a personas y animales por igual. Photo encontrado en: www.observadorglobal.com

“El avance de la desertificación se suma al aumento poblacional y a la contaminación de los ríos, lo que produce que el agua potable sea un bien escaso en África. Aunque el continente disponga de un gran caudal hídrico, las privatizaciones sin control, los desvíos de los cursos y las amenazas de guerra entre países que comparten un mismo río vuelven impredecible el futuro del abastecimiento del agua tanto sea para la agricultura, como para la generación de electricidad y hasta para el consumo humano.

Los caudalosos ríos africanos comienzan a perder fuerza por la evaporación provocada por el aumento de la temperatura del planeta. Además, la presencia de tres importantes desiertos -Sahara, Kalahari y Namib-, que se expanden, producen que las zonas fértiles y las reservas de agua potable disminuyan.

La potencia de las usinas hidroeléctricas, la capacidad de riego para las cosechas, la utilización en la ganadería y el uso humano como recurso primario y vital se ven afectados seriamente por la evaporación y además por la contaminación derivada de la actividad industrial.”

Leer más: Observador Global

Water Pressure

Photo: Ethiopian boy drinks water

Drawing deep from a new well, Soti Sotiar is among a lucky few: the 10 to 20 percent of rural Ethiopians with access to clean drinking water. Photograph by Peter Essick

“Among the environmental specters confronting humanity in the 21st century—global warming, the destruction of rain forests, overfishing of the oceans—a shortage of fresh water is at the top of the list, particularly in the developing world. Hardly a month passes without a new study making another alarming prediction, further deepening concern over what a World Bank expert calls the “grim arithmetic of water.” Recently the United Nations said that 2.7 billion people would face severe water shortages by 2025 if consumption continues at current rates. Fears about a parched future arise from a projected growth of world population from more than six billion today to an estimated nine billion in 2050. Yet the amount of fresh water on Earth is not increasing. Nearly 97 percent of the planet’s water is salt water in seas and oceans. Close to 2 percent of Earth’s water is frozen in polar ice sheets and glaciers, and a fraction of one percent is available for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use.”

“Gloomy water news, however, is not just a thing of the future: Today an estimated 1.2 billion people drink unclean water, and about 2.5 billion lack proper toilets or sewerage systems. More than five million people die each year from water-related diseases such as cholera and dysentery. All over the globe farmers and municipalities are pumping water out of the ground faster than it can be replenished.”

“Still, as I discovered on a two-month trip to Africa, India, and Spain, a host of individuals, organizations, and businesses are working to solve water’s dismal arithmetic. Some are reviving ancient techniques such as rainwater harvesting, and others are using 21st-century technology. But all have two things in common: a desire to obtain maximum efficiency from every drop of water and a belief in using local solutions and free market incentives in their conservation campaigns.”

Read More: National Geographic

Analysis: World Water Day Promises Much, but We’ve Been Here Before

“The economics of improving water quality was a major theme during the program at World Water Day last week, so an economic maxim is appropriate to summarize the day: talk is cheap. Rather, more specifically, scripted talk is cheap.

“The key remark, as is often the case, was brief and direct, without the padding used in government-speak to hide meaning. Panel moderator Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, was posing a question about wastewater management.

“This is a simple problem,” Steiner said. “You either filter water before it is consumed, or treat it before discharging it.”

read more: Circle of Blue

Scarce water the root cause of Darfur conflict?

“If one looks to the Council on Foreign Relations to define the tragedy that has been Darfur you initially get: “Farmers and Arabic nomads have long competed for limited resources in western Sudan’s Darfur region, particularly following a prolonged drought in 1983.”

“Taking a closer look at this position suggests, “the crises in Darfur stems in part from disputes over water.”

“In fact, according to a report dating back to 1999 and sponsored by the UN Development Program, fighting over limited resources as the scarcity of water, over the next 25 years, will possibly be the leading reason for major conflicts in Africa, not oil.”

read more: The Final Call

15 die in Somali rival clan feuds over water

“Violent clan feuds over livestock and access to water are common in the Horn of Africa country, where weapons are readily available and often used to resolve land disputes.”

read more: news

Africa’s potential water wars

“Worldwatch says that already the water needed to produce the annual combined imports of grain by the Middle East and North Africa is equivalent to the annual flow of the Nile.

Importing grain is much easier than importing water, but for poorer countries in Africa it may not be an option.

For this reason the UN proposes monitoring worldwide reserves of drinking water and establishing agreements for the use of water.”

read more: BBC News

Adapting to Climate in Africa

“Throughout history, African African societies have experienced various climate-related events and pressures. But over the last 30 years both drought and floods have increased in frequency and severity. The continent is now burdened with nearly one-third of all water-related disaster that occur worldwide every year.”

read more: jotoafrika