Tag - Development

Water, Water Everywhere, Only if We Share
“El Día del Trillo”
Ethiopia: one of the richest countries in water reserves, still has lots of people without drinking water access
Cocoa, the Nicaraguan hope

Water, Water Everywhere, Only if We Share

The World Water Day, since 1993 observed every year on 22 March, has grown in awarness aided in recent years by social media. This year is the landmark 20th anniversary of its formation, and UN Water are determined to make it the biggest and most widely disseminated yet, with no fewer than 450 events taking place on every continent today. This year official festivities are taking place in The Hague, Netherlands. This year oficial slogan is:“Water, Water Everywhere, Only if We Share” yet, this blog post title.

Obviously there has been progress, but we don’t see World Water Day is a day to celebrate. It’s more a day that forces us to think about much more we need to do. Lets see some data then:

– The resource is wide, but not avalaible. The 97% of water reserves are in sea water. Other 2% is frozen in the poles. So we have to deal with the remaining 1%.

13% of world population has no access to clean drinking water.

– Some 2.5 billion people have no sanitation facilities, with open defecation elevating the risk of disease and groundwater contamination.

– Access to latrines changed little between 1990 and 2010 in sub-Saharan Africa and only marginally in South Asia, the world’s poorest regions.

Of the 800 million living in water poverty, 40% are in sub-Saharan Africa.

– Across sub-Saharan Africa, 61% of people have a ready access to water but only 30% have latrines, the lowest rates in the world.

– In 2010 UN approved resolution 64/292 which recognizes human rights to water and sanitation.

– We already reached MDG 7c “Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation“, but we will miss MGG 7d “Achieve, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers“.

– According to WHO humans need about 7 to 15L/person daily to fully ensure health and sanitation. In developing countries we are using about 100L daily per person.

– UNDP states that the price of water sholdn’t be higher than 3% total house income.

But the main challenge that water faces is the world population increase. To discover more you can see this video.

Have a nice water day!

“El Día del Trillo”

Every Thursday, in La Aurora, Nicaragua, there is a tradition related with agriculture and rice. It’s called “El día del Trillo” (The thresh day). This tradition consists in that each farmer goes to la Aurora, to the COOPMULKRI cooperative, to thresh the rice produced in their own plots.

Thanks to DESOS NGO this cooperative works every Thursday full of its possibilities. They work to improve the quality of basic grain crops, as rice, beans and corn, because it makes up the basic diet of Nicaraguan society. Thus, this NGO in COOPMULKRI helps the farmers in the crop rotation, sowing seeds of good quality and postharvest processes.

At the same time, improving the quality of the grains is used to promote the economy of the community. The increase in production and quality guarantees superpluses to commercialize in the local and national market, and it’s transformed in wealth and in improving their way of life.

In the Desos’ Flikr account you can see images about how they work.

Enjoy the weekend!

Ethiopia: one of the richest countries in water reserves, still has lots of people without drinking water access

Yegobecha is situated in the North of Ethiopia, in the Southern Nation Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Region. This is a very poor region in a very poor country which only the 38 % of a more than 90M population has access to drinking water. This is one of the main problems in Ethiopia, although it is a country rich in water reserves (86% of the Nile River’s flow is originated in Ethiopia and there are abundant underground water basins). The problem is the lack of material, financial and human resources to construct infrastructures allowing water extraction from subsoil and, thus, making it available to the entire population.

Families in Yegobecha have an average number of 6 children and live from subsistence agriculture. Many men must migrate to other areas in search of extra work, as they don’t get enough income from work in land to buy basic goods. In this cases mothers take on the role of family chief, with 6 children in charge, besides doing household tasks, getting water and working the land. This supposes an overload of work which has different consequences, including that they are forced to take their children out of school to help with household tasks.

Also, 50% of the population lives within 10 km away from any basic services centre (health centres and schools). This means 2 hours by walking, as they do not have any other transportation facilities.

Cocoa, the Nicaraguan hope

The growth of cocoa exports from Nicaragua to EU have been experiencing a strong growth since 2007, 45%, but aren’t still enough. This shows there is a strong demand and consolidated into Nicaraguan quality cocoa, instead it must be increasing because the poverty in the region is strong.

The Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central America isthmus. It has approximately 6 million multi-ethnic population. There are conflicts between the population of ethnic diversity and the origin of many of its inhabitants (exrefugees in Costa Rica after the Civil War in Nicaragua), with a consequent territorial conflict. This, coupled with inequalities, lack of training and skills, sexism, individualism and violence, causes a lack of social cohesion that prevents the development of these regions. Added to this is extreme poverty, scarcity of resources among producers, low production and basically meant for home consumption, and the lack of capital for relevant changes. In addition, the natural environment is deteriorating due to poor farming practices that advances the agricultural frontier with the use of “slash and burn” (burning of forests for cultivation, instead of making rotational crops), and the very harmful chemical use.

Thus, the increasing in the cocoa exportations is one of the best ways to change the actual situation in Nicaragua.

Source: Trade Map

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