A successful condominial sewerage program successfully implemented by WSP in Bolivia is now being promoted in Dakar by the local WSP office there. Community-led Total Sanitation approach (CLTS), initiated and scaled up in Bangladesh, was shared with India and has now been adopted by the government in over 426 districts. This innovative approach is now being explored in other countries, including Indonesia, where field trials of two large-scale projects have been so successful in accelerating coverage to the poor and leveraging community investment that subsidy-free CLTS have been adopted as the main rural sanitation approach in all 54 project districts. This ability to "think globally, but act locally" lies at the heart of WSP's approach to sanitation and hygiene promotion.
Many of Asia’s more developed countries now have state of the art toilets that could well belong in a sci-fi movie. But it wasn’t long ago that defecating in the open was the thing to do. The last three decades have seen some shifts in the toilets used in the region -- from floating facilities to waterless latrines to electronic contraptions.
Sally McNamara talks about world poverty, climate change and human rights.
Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands more made homeless by floods sweeping across Ethiopia. UNICEF has launched an emergency appeal for $18.35 million to provide food, shelter and medicine to those struggling to survive.
Almost half the money is needed immediately as humanitarian supplies are running low.
Unlike many parts of the world with water shortages, the small Southeast Asian nation of Laos has hundreds of rivers draining the highlands along its border with Vietnam. The challenge facing Laos is how to use its water to alleviate poverty without damaging the environment.
Correspondent Scott Bobb visited central Laos and reports on a dam project the government says will boost economic growth, but that some environmentalists fear will endanger a forest conservation zone in the region.
Poor farmers who rely on degraded land are barely able to meet their needs as it is. This group is hard hit when the land becomes barren due to drought, otherwise known as desertification.
This page contains a press release covering the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought in 2003. It includes UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message about desertification and drought as a threat to the world's poor.
In Pucarumi, a small community in the foothills of the snow-capped
Peruvian Andes, Felipe mulls the fate of the life-giving Ausangate glacier. Year after year, the great white glacier of his boyhood has receded and slowly turned black.
"We are feeling the effects of climate change," says Felipe, an alpaca herder whose animals graze on pastures irrigated by Ausangate's waters. "This loss of snow means we receive less water. This climatic factor is causing us great danger."
Less water has meant less pasture and more difficulty raising livestock. Animals such as alpaca and sheep aren't eating enough, "so their wool doesn't grow as well," forcing people to turn to synthetic wool to weave hats, sweaters, and scarves.
Rakia gazes at the seemingly healthy millet stalks she planted during this year's short rainy season. A closer look at the millet heads reveals the crop did not mature, and the shells are empty of grain.
"The rains betrayed us. They came and then they stopped," says Rakia, 35, a mother and millet farmer in a semi-arid Sahel region of Niger.
The desert has been creeping into West Africa's Sahel for the last 30 years. Declining rainfall and overuse has taxed the land and brought drought and famine.
IDRC is participating in the 4th World Water Forum 16-22 March 2006 in Mexico City.
IDRC recognizes that the water crisis is, as reflected in the summary report of the World Water Vision, “a crisis of managing water so badly that billions of people — and the environment — suffer badly.”
Poor sanitation, hygiene, and unsafe water claim the lives of more than a million children under the age of five every year. The estimated 2.6 billion people without access to proper sanitation are vulnerable to disease, malnutrition, poverty, and death.
To focus attention on what it has deemed a global crisis, the United Nations has declared 2008 the International Year of Sanitation. According to Sha Zukang, UN Under-Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, “Sanitation is not a dirty word; it is a critical factor in human welfare and sustainable development. We need to put the spotlight on this silent crisis.”
The United Nations has declared 2006 the International Year of Deserts and Desertification to underline the important link between desertification and poverty.
The year also celebrated deserts as unique ecosystems, millennia-old natural habitats, and home to some of the world's most vibrant civilizations.
World Food Day is celebrated each year on 16 October, the anniversary of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The World Food Day theme for 2006 is "Investing in agriculture for food security."
IDRC, through its Urban Poverty and Environment (UPE), and Rural Poverty and Environment (RPE) programs, is matching innovative solutions to food security challenges around the world.
Nearly 30 million people have been affected by the severe floods in the Indian states of Assam and Bihar. Some 550 people have lost their lives.
As the floods continue, an increasing number of children are at risk from disease, drowning and snakebite as they wade through floodwaters with their families, in search of food, clean water and shelter.
UNICEF State Representative for West Bengal and Assam Rudolph Schwenk was on the ground in Assam’s state capital of Guwahati to assess the situation.
Somalia has been afflicted by the worst drought in a decade. The severe crisis is ravaging the country, especially in the south. UNICEF is providing support and preparing for the upcoming dry season. (Credits: Producer:Rachel Warden, Producer:Sabine Dolan)
Survivors of the earthquake that devastated Peru in August of 2007 are still desperately in need of help. There are roughly 24,000 people still living in approximately 100 camps, waiting to return to their homes.
"I'm living here at the camp with my three daughters," said Maria Pacha Chavez. "We are 40 affected families amounting to 162 people between children, the elderly, men and women."
In response to recurring health problems in shelters, a UNICEF-supported initiative is educating children about hygiene and sanitation in order to prevent disease. A group of actors known as The Kallpa Group visits the camps to perform entertaining presentations involving characters such as Mrs. Latrine and Mr. Cleanliness.
It was close to noon in Khuriakhali Bazaar, a market in the Sharankhola sub-district of Bagerhat, when the UNICEF team arrived after a long walk.
The surrounding village of Southkhali, razed by Cyclone Sidr last month, wore a ghostly look. One or two corrugated metal houses stood alone amidst heaps of destruction. The villagers struggled to make their way along muddy roads and land eroded from uprooted trees.
Cyclone Sidr, which hit the coastal districts of Bangladesh on 15 November, was one of the worst storms in recent memory. It has claimed at least 3,300 lives, leaving hundreds more missing and thousands homeless.
Greenpeace links rising global temperatures and climate change to the onset of one of the worst droughts to have struck Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia in recent memory. Severe water shortage and damage to agriculture has affected millions.
Earthwatch is working with local communities and partners, such as Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, to actively promote the conservation and well-being of wildlife, wild habitats, and human populations in the Samburu region of Kenya. In collaboration with local partners, Earthwatch has developed a suite of projects that address the concerns of local stakeholders, from landowners to conservation professionals.
The Amazon rainforest is home to 30% of all known plant and animal species making it one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. The region is populated by a variety of indigenous cultures and settlers who make their living in this seemingly inhospitable terrain. Global Vision International's Amazon expedition is set in the heart of the Ecuadorian rainforest and provides participants with a unique, first-hand experience of this extraordinary environment and its inhabitants.
GVI is partnered with the Ecuadorian Foundation for Integrated Education and Development (FUNEDESIN) which has extensive experience in Amazonian community development. FUNEDESIN recently established an innovative education centre for students from local, largely agricultural, and often poor communities.
Marine protected areas can be effective poverty reduction tools. In this documentary, local people living in and around three protected areas tell in their own words how these have improved their wellbeing and reduced poverty in their communities. This 15-minute video was contributed by www.prem-online.org.