On the night of January 24, 2022, as Cyclone Ana-triggered rains incessantly rattled on the rusty roof of her house, amid intervals of gusty winds, a thud woke up Josephine Kumwanje from her sleep.
When years ago warnings were sounded that future wars would be fought not over oil but water, the predictions were dismissed as alarmist.
The Mexican government is prioritizing the construction and modernization of mega water projects, without considering their impacts and long-term viability, according to a number of experts and activists.
People living in Jardim Pantanal, a low-income neighborhood on the east side of the Brazilian megalopolis of São Paulo, suffer floods every southern hemisphere summer. Many residents remember the three months their streets and homes were under water in late 2009 and early 2010.
The toilets in the maternity wing of Namatapa Health Centre in the populous Bangwe Township in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial city, fell into disrepair a few years ago. So, pregnant women who come to deliver their babies and their guardians use two pit latrines.
There are more under-reported consequences of human activities unmatching the rhythm of Mother Nature. Such is the case, among many others, of the growing salinisation and ‘plastification’ of the world's soils.
The new Yangtze River Protection Law (YRPL), which came into effect on March 1, 2021, is China’s first legislation on a specific river basin
. The Yangtze River is China’s longest and largest river system, stretching over 6,300 kilometres
and has over 700 tributaries
. With a drainage basin covering more than 1.8 million square kilometres, approximately one-fifth of China’s total land area, the river basin is home to over 40% of the country’s population
Now it comes to the scary water crises, as it is estimated that, globally, over two billion people live in countries that experience high water stress.
"When I was a little girl we didn't suffer from water shortages like we do now. Today we are experiencing more droughts, our water sources are drying up and we cannot sit idly by," Kely Quispe, a small farmer from the community of Huasao, located half an hour from Cuzco, the capital of Peru's ancient Inca empire, told IPS.
The overuse and misuse of antimicrobial medicines and chemicals
has become the main driver of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and drug-resistant infections that threaten human health and the global economy.
Did you know that half of the world's population do not have toilets
? And that, globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces? And that every day, over 700 children under five years old die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene?
As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is swiftly moving to its conclusion on Friday, climate justice could not be more urgent or timely.
“The Systems thinking approach could innovatively contribute to a water-secure Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to mitigate the acerbating impacts of climate change”. This view is shared by Engineer James Sauramba, SADC-GMI Executive Director.
Next to the brick or adobe houses of El Impenetrable, a wild area of forest and grasslands in northern Argentina, loom huge plastic barrels where rainwater collected from the corrugated iron roofs of the houses is stored. However, the barrels are empty, because it has hardly rained for two years, local residents complain.
Each morning, Langelihle Tshuma checks her taps to confirm the water supply before preparing for the day ahead.
Despite living in the city, the married housewife and mother of four has become accustomed to what in most cities would be considered an essential service.
Basic sanitation, a sector that is undervalued because, according to politicians, it does not bring in votes, has gained relevance in Brazil due to the pandemic that has hit the poor especially hard and the drought that threatens millions of people.
As the saying goes, united we stand, divided we fall, hundreds of families in rural communities in El Salvador are standing together to gain access to drinking water.
It is not uncommon for a water-centric research, policy or development organization or network to declare its long-term vision of the “water-secure world”. It reads nicely and feels great.
I assume channel surfing and internet browsing contribute to a decrease in people’s attention span. I am not familiar with any scientific proof, though while working as a teacher I found that some students may be exhausted when five minutes of a lesson has passed and begin fingering on their smartphones. They might also complain if a text is longer than half a page, while finding it almost impossible to read a book.
After climbing a steep hill along winding paths, you reach a huge water tank at the top that supplies peasant farmer families who had no water and instead set up their own community project on this coastal strip in central El Salvador.
In the San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan Otomí indigenous community, in the state of Mexico –adjacent to the country’s capital–, access to water has been based on collective work.