The kids of Kodikaman, a dusty village straddling the newly laid railway line in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna District, enjoy a special treat these days.
Gazing out over the parched earth of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, one might think these farmlands have not seen water in years. In fact, this is not too far from the truth.
The northeastern Indian state of Assam is no stranger to devastating floods. Located just south of the eastern Himalayas, the lush, 30,000-square-km region comprises the Brahmaputra and Barak river valleys, and is accustomed to annual bouts of rain that swell the mighty rivers and spill over into villages and towns, inundating agricultural lands and washing homes, possessions and livestock away.
On Sunday, Sep. 21, at least 300,000 people filled the streets of New York City ahead of the U.N. General Assembly and special one-day Climate Summit Sep. 23 to protest the ongoing lack of political will to cut global CO2 emissions and kick-start a greener economy. They came by bus and bike and train. They came with their kids -- some in strollers, others old enough to proudly carry signs. By afternoon, it had become clear that the march in New York was the biggest climate-change gathering in history. Protesters also turned out in more than 150 other cities around the world.
Mozambique struggles to contain the HIV epidemic with one in ten among its 24 million people infected. Helping them is not easy when only 60 percent of people have access to health services.
While the United Nations claims to have met the Millennium Development Goal target of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers well ahead of the 2020 deadline, the fact remains that millions around the world continue to live in informal, overcrowded and unsanitary housing conditions.
It has been just two weeks since the Pakistan army began a full-blown military offensive - codenamed ‘the sword of the Prophet Muhammad strikes’ (Zarb-e-Asb) – to eradicate the Taliban from the country’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), particularly from the sprawling North Waziristan Agency.
The pastoralists of Somali region make their living raising cattle, camels and goats. In the arid and drought-prone region, they are forced to move from place to place in search of pasture and watering holes for their animals.
When the Tokwe-Mukosi dam’s wall breached, so started the long, painful and disorienting journey for almost 18,000 people who had lived in the 50-kilometre radius of Chivi basin in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo province as even those not affected by the flood were removed from their homes.
The late Malian writer and ethnologist Amadou Hampâté Bâ said, “In Africa, when an old person dies, it is a library that burns”, so huge is the loss of oral stories and information. It’s a saying that rings true with the Acholi ethnic group, that was left devastated by the war in northern Uganda. “Our culture believes, when someone dies, there is a grave and it documents the loss. Now we need to look beyond the graves,” Acholi chief Rwoth Achoro says.
By now, the tale has become almost mundane: first the rains remain elusive, refusing to quench the parched earth. Then, without warning, they fall in such torrents that they leave scores dead, hundreds injured, and thousands homeless, plus a heavy bill in accrued damages.
It is generally agreed that the origin of parchment making found in Ethiopia today likely lies with Christian monks who braved crossing the Red Sea around the 4th century and brought the bible with them.
Four years after the a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, there are still about 300 internally displaced person (IDP) camps mostly scattered around the capital region. Correspondents Jane Regan and Milo Milfort visited Gaston Margron camp on the southern edge of Port-au-Prince, home to an estimated 800 families living in tents. This slideshow accompanies the story Four Years After Haiti’s Earthquake, Still Waiting for a Roof.
When the food-strapped Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) appealed to the Mongolian government for food last month, it signaled a major turning point in the public image of this Central Asian country, which has long struggled to feed its own population of three million.
In New York City, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) youth represent 40 percent of the homeless youth living on the city's streets. The Ali Forney Center is a non-profit organisation that offers them services such as emergency shelter, transitional shelter, help to reach out to family, and more specific services depending on what is needed.