Archive for April, 2015

April 27, 2015

Cultural Turn to Biodiversity Conservation

Fredrick Mugira
April 27, 2015

Summary
Indigenous people have a broad knowledge of how to live sustainably. However, formal education systems have disrupted the practical everyday life aspects of indigenous knowledge and ways of learning, replacing them with abstract knowledge and academic ways of learning.

Suggested introduction
The dominance of the western culture in Uganda and several other developing countries has drawn the young generation away from their culture. This has undermined the potential of indigenous knowledge in solving social problems such as environmental degradation. And yet it is apparent that even with rapid advancement in western science and technologies, the global environment of the twenty first century is still being degraded.

This feature by Fredrick Mugira calls for a cultural turn to biodiversity conservation.

CUE IN: “While I was growing up …
CUE OUT: …sustainable biodiversity and ecosystems.”

April 25, 2015

University Of Florida Boosts Visualization of Water Purification Designs

George Bradley and University of Florida
April 25, 2015

Did you know that up to 748 million people rely on contaminated or unprotected water sources and 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation facilities worldwide?

World Health Organisation estimates that 1.8 billion people use a fecally contaminated drinking water source, 2.5 billion lack access to improved sanitation facilities and more than 840,000 people die from water related diseases annually.

Contaminated water is the number one cause of death in developing countries, causing diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, typhoid fever, malaria, ascariasis, dengue fever and many other deadly illnesses.

In fact, contaminated water is the number one public health concern globally based on its impact to society, according to the WHO. Fortunately, the WHO estimates that 10% of the global disease burden could be prevented with improved water supply and sanitation.

In light of this, a number of innovations and technologies are providing growing solutions to this problem.

The University of Florida in USA has created an infographic that can help people to visualize five water purification designs that would greatly benefit third world communities.

UF Online Infographic: Five Water Purification Designs for Third World Communities
UF Online B.S. in Environmental Management

April 24, 2015

Then and Now: Malawi Residents Cope With Flood Aftermath

George Mhango
April 24, 2015

Several communities in Malawi are still counting losses, three months after floods ravaged different parts of the country destroying people’s property and forcing them to seek for refuge in Displaced People’s Camps (IDPs).

The flash floods were a result of heavy and intense rains. They left close to 180,000 people displaced.

Although the situation is slowly returning to normal in some of the affected communities, quite a lot of affected people still live in camps

One of the major challenges that cropped up following the floods was lack of safe water after flood waters mixed with sewerage.

George Mhango has just been in Bangula camp in Nsanje district on the boundary between Malawi and Mozambique in the southern region of Malawi. And as his pictures below indicate, things seem to be getting to normal in the camps as seen by the affected people drawing and drinking safe water from taps.

A child drinking water from the tap in  Bangula camp in Nsanje district of Malawi

A child drinking water from the tap in Bangula camp in Nsanje district of Malawi

Children fetching water in Bangula camp in Nsanje district of Malawi

Children fetching water in Bangula camp in Nsanje district of Malawi

Women and Children fetching water in Bangula camp in Nsanje district of Malawi

Women and Children fetching water in Bangula camp in Nsanje district of Malawi

April 18, 2015

7th World Water Forum Backs Inclusion of a Dedicated Water Goal in Post-2015 Development Agenda

Fredrick Mugira
April 18, 2015

The 7th World Water Forum came to an end Friday with participants backing the inclusion of one dedicated water goal and water-related targets in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

“We reaffirm that water is at the core of sustainable development and support the inclusion of one dedicated water goal and water-related targets in the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” the declaration noted.

7th World Water Forum Logo

7th World Water Forum Logo

There are 17 proposed SDGs and 169 targets. SDG six focuses on water and sanitation. It has eight targets.

Others five SDGs have seven targets directly or indirectly linked to water-related issues. A high level summit to adopt the SDGs takes place in New York, USA in September this year.

“We are committed to working together to ensure a successful outcome at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” the declaration further stressed.

The 7th edition of the world’s largest water event gathered participants from the international water community: academics, research institutions, enterprises, professional networks, governments and policy-makers, IGOs and NGOs, as well as representatives from various fields such as agriculture, food or energy in the city of Daegu, South Korea under the theme, Water for Our Future.

Earlier during the week, the legislators from all over the world promised policy support for water issues and rooted for increased cooperation between countries.

Some of the legislators during the 7th World Water Forum in South Korea

Some of the legislators during the 7th World Water Forum in South Korea

“Developed countries should provide active support, while developing nations should in turn invest in efforts to bring about positive changes,” the legislators urged in their joint statement.

The 7th World Water Forum focused on the implementation of the solutions that were identified during the 6th edition in Marseille, France in 2012. It was composed of cultural events, a Water Showcase, the World Water Challenge, water prize ceremonies, side events, a water exhibition and fair, as well as a Citizen’s Forum, including a Youth and Children’s Forum, to raise citizens’ awareness in favor of water.

The World Water Forum is the world’s largest meeting on water. Every three years since 1997, the World Water Council (WWC), has held each World Water Forum on or around World Water Day

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