Tag Archive for 'niger river'

Mali’s Lush Wetlands Drained by Foreign Agribusiness

Photo retrieved from: www.nationalgeographic.com

“Nearly two million Malians live on the delta. “Everything here depends on the water,” said the mayor. “But”—and here he paused gravely, pushed his glasses down an elegant nose, and began waving a long finger—”the government is taking our water. They are giving it to foreign farmers. They don’t even ask us.”

What is happening here in Mali is happening all over the world. People who depend on the natural flow of water, and the burst of nature that comes with it, are losing out as powerful people upstream divert the water.

As the mayor talked in the schoolyard of Akka village, on an island in the heart of the Niger inland delta, women rushed around putting straw mats on the ground, and bringing bowls of food. By torchlight, we savored a supper of smoked fish, millet porridge, and green vegetables, all products of the waters around us.”

Read more: National Geographic

 

Africa land grabs ‘could cause conflicts’

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

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