Water & Sanitation

World Bank Board Declines to Revise Controversial Draft Policies

A key committee of the World Bank’s governing board Wednesday spurned appeals to revise a  draft policy statement that, according to nearly 100 civil-society groups, risks rolling back several decades of reforms designed to protect indigenous populations, the poor and sensitive ecosystems.

Under Water: The EPA’s Struggle to Combat Pollution

For years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been frustrated in its efforts to pursue hundreds of cases of water pollution — repeatedly tied up in legal fights about exactly what bodies of water it has the authority to monitor and protect.

Drought and Misuse Behind Lebanon’s Water Scarcity

In front of Osman Bin Affan Mosque, in a central but narrow street of Beirut, several tank trucks are being filled with large amounts of water. The mosque has its own well, which allows it to pump water directly from the aquifers that cross the Lebanese underground. Once filled, the trucks will start going through the city to supply hundreds of homes and shops.

Fish Before Fields to Improve Egypt’s Food Production

Less than four percent of Egypt’s land mass is suitable for agriculture, and most of it confined to the densely populated Nile River Valley and Delta. With the nation’s population of 85 million expected to double by 2050, government officials are grappling with ways of ensuring food security and raising nutritional standards.

Human Development Report Finds South Asia’s Poor on a Knife’s Edge

Millions still live in poverty and even those who have gained the security of the middle-income bracket could relapse into poverty due to sudden changes to their economic fortunes in South Asia, the latest annual Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) revealed.

For Nepal’s Dalits, Struggle Continues Amidst Slow Progress

With over 41 percent of Nepal's three million Dalits living below the poverty line, and over 90 percent classified as 'landless', the country must reassess its progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) vis-a-vis its most vulnerable populations.

Disasters Poised to Sweep Away Development Gains

Extreme poverty and hunger can be eliminated, but only through far greater efforts to reduce carbon emissions that are overheating the planet and producing punishing droughts, catastrophic floods and ever wilder weather, said climate activists involved in talks to set the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Creating a Slum Within a Slum

At the eastern edge of Nairobi's Kibera slum, children gather with large yellow jerry cans to collect water dripping out of an exposed pipe. The high-rise grey and beige Soweto East settlement towers above them. A girl lifts the can on top of her head and returns to her family's third floor apartment.

Caribbean Grapples with Intense New Cycles of Flooding and Drought

As unpredictable weather patterns impact water availability and quality in St. Lucia, the Caribbean island is moving to build resilience to climate-related stresses in its water sector.

India’s Cut-Rose Sector Pushes Past Barriers

Neat rows of pampered-looking rose plants, drip-irrigated and ‘misted’ by tiny sprinklers, grow inside temperature-controlled greenhouses with high domes opened periodically for fresh air, offering 10 million cut-rose stems for export each year.

U.N.’s New Development Goals Must Also Be Measurable for Rich

The United Nations is on the verge of releasing a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - perhaps 17 or more - to replace the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which will run out by the end of 2015.

Mechanical Pumps Turning Oases into Mirages

Using a hoe, farmer Atef Sayyid removes an earthen plug in an irrigation stream, allowing water to spill onto the parcel of land where he grows dates, olives and almonds.

Scepticism as “Green Goods” Trade Talks Begin

Formal negotiations began this week around the increasingly significant global trade in “environmental goods”, those technologies seen as environmentally beneficial, including in combating climate change.

Amid Scepticism, U.N. Trumpets Successes in Cutting Poverty

With 17 months before the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reach their targets by the December 2015 deadline, the United Nations is trumpeting its limited successes - but with guarded optimism.

India’s Unholy Mess

One of the first things that Narendra Damodardas Modi did after being anointed as the Indian prime minister on May 26 was to set up an exclusive ministry (Ganga Rejuvenation) under Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti to clean up the country’s national river, the Ganges.

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