Water & Sanitation

Native Seeds Sustain Brazil’s Semi-Arid Northeast

In his 76 years of life, Raimundo Pinheiro de Melo has endured a number of droughts in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast region. And he remembers every one of them since 1958.“The worst one was in 1982 and 1983, the only time that the river dried up,” said Pinheiro do Melo, who has lived near the river since 1962. “The one in 1993 was also very bad,” he told IPS, because neither Bolsa Familia nor Networking in Brazil’s Semi-Arid Region (ASA) existed yet, which contribute to a less traumatic coexistence with droughts like the current one, which has dragged on for five years.

No More Mass Deaths from Drought in Northeast Brazil

The drought that has plagued Brazil’s semiarid Northeast region since 2012 is already more severe than the 1979-1983 drought, the longest in the 20th century. But prolonged dry spells no longer cause the tragedies of the past.

Managing Bangladesh’s Dwindling Water Resources

Experts at Bangladesh’s National Water Convention 2016 in Dhaka urged the sustainable management and conservation of water as the country braces for a water crisis due to wastage, river pollution, declining groundwater tables and intrusion of salinity.

Quality Water for All a Life and Death Issue in Bangladesh

There is no exaggerating how crucial water is for human survival, particularly in countries like Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by rivers. The level of water in a river here directly affects the lifestyles and livelihoods of the people living on its two sides, so much so that rivers and water bodies of varied sizes are an inseparable part of Bengali culture and heritage.

Developmentalism and Conservation Clash Out at Sea

“We don’t have access to marine areas, because most are protected areas or are in private hands. We indigenous people have been losing access to our territories, as this decision became a privilege of the state,” complained Donald Rojas, a member of the Brunka indigenous community in Costa Rica.

Europe to Decide on Use of Mercury in Dentistry

Europe will soon decide the future of a common but controversial dental practice: mercury in tooth fillings.Three major European institutions, namely the European Commission, Parliament and Council, are due to meet on 6 December to discuss regulations on mercury, particularly its use in dentistry.

Climate Finance for Farmers Key to Avert One Billion Hungry

With climate change posing growing threats to smallholder farmers, experts working around the issues of agriculture and food security say it is more critical than ever to implement locally appropriate solutions to help them adapt to changing rainfall patterns.

New Fund Aims to Help Build Resilience to Climate Change

The world has been too slow in responding to climate events such as El Niño and La Niña, and those who are the “least responsible are the ones suffering most”, Mary Robinson, the special envoy on El Niño and Climate, told IPS at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22).

The Perils of Writing about Toilets in India

Journalist Stella Paul was midway through an interview about toilets when she found herself, and the women she was speaking to, under attack from four angry men.


Funding Lags to Combat Land Degradation

Land degradation already affects millions of people, bringing biodiversity loss, reduced availability of clean water, food insecurity and greater vulnerability to the harsh impacts of climate change.

Kenya Greens Drylands to Combat Land Degradation

Faced with growing degradation that is swallowing large swathes of land in arid and semiarid areas, Kenya is heavily investing in rehabilitation efforts to stave off the threat of desertification.

Water Bodies Central to Urban Flood Planning

“The rain was our nemesis as well as our saviour,” says Kanniappan, recalling the first week of December 2015 when Chennai was flooded.

Private Interests Valued over Human Lives in Flint, Michigan

When the water in Flint, Michigan was found to be corroding cars at a General Motors’ (GM) factory, government officials agreed to change the factory's water source, yet the same water source continued to poison the residents of Flint for another year.


The Beating Pulse of Food Security in Africa

Elizabeth Mpofu is a fighter. She is one of a select group of farmers who equate food security with the war against hunger and shun poor agricultural practices which destroy the environment and impoverish farmers, especially women.

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