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Showing posts from November 12, 2006

Tibet's Lofty Glaciers Melt Away

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Tibet's Lofty Glaciers melt Away
Research by scientists shows that the ice fields on the roof of the world are disappearing faster than anyone thought.

By Clifford Coonan
Published: 17 November 2006

The Qinghai-Tibet plateau is home to tens of thousands of glaciers, fields of ice at the roof of the world where Mount Everest and other Himalayan peaks look down on China and Nepal. But the glaciers are melting faster than anyone thought, fresh research by Chinese scientists shows, as global warming speeds up the shrinkage of more than 80 per cent of the 46,377 glaciers on the lofty plateau.

Rising temperatures on the ice fields of Qinghai-Tibet and surrounding areas in the past 50 years are having a devastating effect on the environment, as receding glaciers translate into water shortages in China and huge swathes of south Asia. China will soon have to add more deserts, droughts and sandstorms to its already lengthy list of pollution woes, while India and Nepal will have to deal with stag…

Clean Water Is A Human Right

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Clean Water Is A Human Right

Clean water is a human right
Kevin Watkins / International Herald Tribune
Published: November 10, 2006

NAIROBI: Vivian Neyamba, aged six months, just became another grim statistic in the world's most lethal and least reported humanitarian disaster. She lost her life not to a drought, a flood or a violent conflict, but to a killer that claims the lives of 500 children across the world each day - diarrhea caused by a global crisis in water and sanitation.

I have been following these issues for years. But standing outside the tiny corrugated iron shack in the sprawling slum of Kibera in Nairobi, where Vivian Neyamba lived her short life, I got a heartbreaking glimpse into what it actually means to live without clean water and basic sanitation.

In a slum of more than half a million people, the largest informal settlement in Africa, almost no one has a tap in their home. At dawn, armies of women and young girls line up with buckets to buy water at roadside standp…

Water Clash Evoked By Climate Talks

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Water Clash Evoked By Climate Talks
Water Clash Warning Evoked by Kenya Climate Talks
KENYA: November 14, 2006

NAIROBI - Global climate change talks in Nairobi this week may be nowhere more relevant than a nearby settlement where water shortages a year ago sparked clashes which saw 25 people speared, clubbed or chopped to death.

Masai herdsmen and settled farmers say the rains have changed on the flat plains that spread uninterrupted between distant mountains in Kenya's Rift Valley. And a year ago drought lit the touch paper to old rivalries over who owns what land, triggering a pitched battle between two sides wielding machetes, arrows, spears and clubs.

"It's the first time water was the cause," said Zacharia Igeria, chief administrator in the 50,000-strong community of the Maai Mahiu region some 50 km (30 miles) from Nairobi.
Drought last year shrank the river Ewasu Kidong, which is Masai for "water jug", to exceptionally low levels, Igeria said.

Water and past…