news in brief

Trump rescinds transgender bathroom rules from Obama era

32Donald Trump’s government has revoked guidance to US public schools that allowed transgender students to use toilets matching their gender identity.

The guidance, issued by his predecessor Barack Obama, had been hailed by as a victory for transgender rights. But critics said it threatened other students’ privacy and safety, and should be decided at state level.

Mr Obama’s directive had sparked a backlash across the country, with legal challenges from 13 states. The latest change will have no immediate impact, because Mr Obama’s directive has already been temporarily blocked by a judge in Texas since August.

20 Years of Feces-Contaminated Water Leads to Lawsuit

31By Sara Jerome

Thousands of South American water consumers filed a class action lawsuit against government agencies in November after a study revealed that they had been drinking water contaminated by human feces for over two decades.

The lawsuit was filed by residents of El Pinar and Manantiales in Colombia, UPI reported. “The study by the environmental laboratory at the University of Antioquia revealed those residents had been drinking water contaminated with E. coli and human feces for more than 20 years,” the report said.

EthiopiaEthiopia
Japanese Funded Water Supply, Sanitation Project Goes Operational

By Henok Tibebu
Japanese funded water supply and sanitation project in Tsayte Woreda of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State worth over 600,000 USD was inaugurated December 5, 2016.

At the inauguration ceremony, Embassy Second Secretary Yohei Otomo said the project would improve access to safe water and sanitation for the community.

According to embassy press release, the project provided three water points, 31 washhouses and five restrooms. Training focusing on sanitation was also offered for beneficiaries. Members of the community have also expressed gratitude to the embassy for accessing the clean water.

The government of Japan has provided over one million USD to support education, water supply, health and other sectors in Ethiopia implementing the Grant Assistance Scheme throughout the last five years, the release stated.

GabonGabon
The tone rises between the State and Veolia

SEEG, a subsidiary of Veolia in Gabon, claims 172,000 drinking water customers and 394,600 electricity customers. © www.veolia.comSEEG, a subsidiary of Veolia in Gabon, claims 172,000 drinking water customers and 394,600 electricity customers. © www.veolia.com

SEEG, a subsidiary of Veolia and a concession operator of the country’s water and electricity network since 1997, publicly complained on December 20, 2016 about the State and private defaults that could lead it to put the key under the door, According to its director general. A remark coldly received by the government, which must decide in mid-2017 on an opening of the concession to competition.

While negotiations on the renewal of the concession on the water system and electricity Gabonese energy and Water Company of Gabon (SEEG), whose subsidiary of the French group holds since 1997, was opened in July , tone up in Libreville.

GuineaGuinea
The Kaléta dam badly planned?

Guinea

According to sources, the Kalta hydroelectric dam, inaugurated with great pomp by Guinean President Alpha Condé and its Energy Minister Cheick Taliby Sylla at the end of September 2015, does not keep its promises. Its production capacity, assumed to be 240 megawatts (MW), would be between 30 and 100 MW during the dry season. In issue, the lack of anticipation of chronic water shortage.

The situation is partly due to the lack of water reservoir upstream - which will be settled around 2020 - but also to “technical errors” during the study phase of this site built by China International Water and Electric Corporation for $ 446 million (€ 420 million). Moreover, the question of whether the power grid is powerful enough to extract the energy produced divides the experts.

 

                           


            

Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2