Accessing the Available by Emily Johnson You wake up to sun through your bedroom window, realizing the room is warm, even hot. Your legs feel sticky from sweat. Your eyes are sticky, too, from sleep. It feels as though the ceiling fan only pushes heat around in circles. To the AC panel you go. You… Read more »
by Shelton Owen On March 8th, women around the world celebrated their femininity on International Women’s Day. The special day, observed since the early 1900s, is about recognizing the progress achieved while looking ahead to opportunities of advancement. Women have made great strides in the past century, socially, politically, and economically, but the battle… Read more »
West Africa has no doubt has faced some hardships obtaining water to keep their children alive as well as their families. But other parts of the continent is also facing a water crisis: South Africa.
The Lake Chad Basin Commission was established in the 1960’s by four member states—Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Cameroon–for the purpose of maintaining the ecosystem and managing the resources of the area, specifically the precious resource of water. The land in the vicinity of the lake was green and fertile, and for years, fishermen made a living off of the diverse catch they could reliably obtain from the depths.
The issue of contaminated drinking water isn’t some far off problem, only applicable to third world countries and those in poverty-it’s right here at home in the U.S. The residents of Cambria County, Pennsylvania now know this statement to be true. Last week, a letter was sent out by the Patton Borough Water Department informing customers of a contaminant (trihalomethane) in their water supply. Customers expressed a mix of confusion, concern, and anger because the occurrence wasn’t a one time thing; it has been prevalent for seven years.
Every morning, I wake up and pour myself a glass of water. It’s what makes me feel refreshed before I start my day.
One morning, I pushed the button on my water cooler to fill my cup, and nothing came out. I was so used to having my morning cup of water that I almost panicked – I suddenly got a sense of urgency and needed my roommate to lift up the five-gallon barrel of water to replace the empty one that sits atop my water cooler. This event made me think about the big water issues around the world today.
This month, Niger’s Foreign Minister made a rather large request of the European Union-one billion euros. This chunk of change would aid the fight to end illegal migration. As a major transit country for those fleeing tumultuous homelands, Niger inhabits an abundance of runaways. The IOM estimates up to 150,000 migrants will cross through Niger this year alone, seeking the Mediterranean Coast. Whether it’s driven by war, terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, or simply the horrendous conditions of some African nations, the EU has been presented with an explosive migration crisis.
The climatic changes brought about by El Niño have caused unseasonal floods and droughts, and has led much of the southern and eastern African regions to be plunged into food insecurity thanks to failed crops. In some parts of Ethiopia, which was the hardest hit by such unexpectedly severe and erratic rainfall disruptions, about 4/5 of all crops withered. Zimbabwe recently declared itself in a state of crisis, and Kenya and Nigeria are likewise experiencing dramatic food shortages. The number of people now experiencing hunger has increased by the millions. To say the current situation is dire would be an understatement.
I started thinking about the upcoming 7 Gallon Challenge for World Water Day and what might be easy or difficult to cut back on. The easy one for me was fewer flushes a day. Living alone, no one else would be impacted by what sits for a while in my toilet!
Before I actually took the 7 Gallon Challenge, I decided to do a “test market”—going through my day, thinking consciously about my water usage and how it might feel to cut back on certain things. It didn’t take long to discover that the prospect of taking a short shower didn’t feel so great. As I stood under the hot, flowing water for a few minutes, my higher self said, “Enough, turn off the water!” But my body answered, “Don’t you dare!!”
The 1,000th well was drilled in Niger.