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AfDB Approves Loans and Grants

Sudan AfDB approves US $22-million grant to break “triangle of thirst” in West Kordofan, Sudan

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on 0September 9 committed a grant of US $22-million to finance water and sanitation facilities in the West Kordofan State of Sudan and a country-wide Institutional Capacity Development Program. More than 130,000 people (69,000 women) in the rural areas of West Kordofan State are targeted beneficiaries. Water supply points will also benefit approximately 730,000 heads of livestock.

The Water Sector Reforms and Institutional Capacity Development Program targets all 18 states of the Republic of the Sudan and will kick off in January 2016 for implementation spanning a four and a half years. It will focus on building a resilient and sustainable water and sanitation sector that meets the needs of all users or beneficiaries in Sudan, and in particular West Kordofan State. In this regard, the program is expected to enhance peace-building, improve livelihoods and build resilience against climate variability and change in the country.

Learning from the MDGs: Improved sanitation, drainage in cities

MumbaiMumbaiWorld leaders have agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but arguably Goal six the water and sanitation goal will have the hardest job building on the work undertaken by the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A timely special double edition of the journal Environment and Urbanization on “Sanitation and drainage in cities” explores persistent gaps in urban sanitation provision and ways to address them.

The water MDG was widely acknowledged as the furthest from delivering against its objective, with criticism largely leveled at Target 7.C, which aimed to ‘halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation’.

Beyond the SDGs: How to deliver water and sanitation to everyone, everywhere

By Margaret Batty

A public toilet in Ciudad Pachacutec in Peru. More than 2A public toilet in Ciudad Pachacutec in Peru. More than 2.3 billion people still do not have access to a safe, private toilet. Photo by: Monica Tijero / World Bank / CC BY-NC-NDRecently, world leaders embarked upon a new journey to tackle extreme poverty and make our planet a healthier, more equal place to live with the adoption of the new U.N. Sustainable Development framework. These are exciting times, and a real chance for change.

Water and sanitation play a key role in these 17 global goals on sustainable development — not only in SDG 6, but crosscutting through health, education and gender rights. It’s hard to imagine a successful school, a successful hospital or a successful community without such basics as safe drinking water, a decent, private toilet, effective removal of human waste, and good hygiene practice, including hand and face washing with soap.

Water Remains Largely Marginalized in Climate Talks

By Thalif Deen

Credit to WaterAidCredit: WaterAidU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently turned the spotlight on the “record number” of extreme weather-related events the world is witnessing these days.

With an eye on the upcoming climate change talks in Paris, he warned that in the South Pacific, entire islands are at risk, largely threatened by a sea-level rise.

In southeast Brazil, they’re suffering through the worst drought in 80 years. In California, it’s the worst drought in a century – plus wildfires.

Africa Sees U.N. Climate Conference as “Court Case” for the Continent

By Isaiah Esipisu

Section of a geothermal power plant in Kenya. Some African countries have invested heavily in green energy showcasing what Africa can do given resourcesSection of a geothermal power plant in Kenya. Some African countries have invested heavily in green energy, showcasing what Africa can do, given resources. Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPSAs the clock ticks towards the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris in December, African experts, policy-makers and civil society groups plan to come to the negotiation table prepared for a legal approach to avoid mistakes made during formulation of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty which extends the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the premise that global warming exists and that man-made CO2 emissions have caused it.

More rain leads to fewer trees in the African savanna

Single camel thorn acacia on the savannah in Etosha National ParkSingle camel-thorn acacia on the savannah in Etosha National Park. The Etosha Pan in in the background. Princeton University researchers might have finally provided a solution to the ecological riddle of why tree abundance on Africa’s grassy savannas diminishes in response to heavy rainfall despite scientists’ expectations to the contrary. The researchers found that the ability of grasses to more efficiently absorb and process water gives them an advantage over trees such as the acacia. Credit: © marietf / FotoliaIn 2011, satellite images of the African savannas revealed a mystery: these rolling grasslands, with their heavy rainfalls and spells of drought, were home to significantly fewer trees than researchers had expected. Scientists supposed that the ecosystem’s high annual precipitation would result in greater tree growth. Yet a 2011 study found that the more instances of heavy rainfall a savanna received, the fewer trees it had.

To this ecological riddle, Princeton University researchers might have finally provided a solution. In a study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers use mathematical equations to show that physiological differences between trees and grasses are enough to explain the curious phenomenon.

The researchers found that under very wet conditions, grasses have an advantage because they can quickly absorb water and support high rates of photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy. Trees, with their tougher leaves and roots, are able to survive better in dry periods because of their ability to withstand water stress. But this amounts to a disadvantage for trees in periods of intense rainfall, as they are comparatively less effective at utilizing the newly abundant water.

East Africa on Alert for El Niño Deluge

Photo by Hezron Ochiel IRINPhoto: Hezron Ochiel/IRINEast African countries near the equator are bracing for high El Niño-related rainfall that meteorologists warn may cause floods, crop losses and disease in the coming months.

The region is set to experience much more rain than usual during the October-December wet season, and possibly until early next year, forecasts say - although the rains may be less heavy than those experienced during the powerful 1997-98 El Niño ocean warming event.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene November - December 2017 Vol.12 No.6