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Quick Reads + Environment

Media archive · 4406 posts

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Environment

20-40% of Water Sector Finances Are Lost to Corruption in Africa

Access to water is a human right; Source: actionaid.org with permission

Mustapha Sesay, West Africa Water Integrity Ambassador wrote about corruption in the water sector on the West Africa WASH Journalists Network :

The issue of accessing pure and affordable water is a fundamental human right but this is not given the much needed attention. Corruption in the water sector is ripe and involves all classes of people ranging from the ordinary man, politicians, Heads of Water Institutions and even Non-Governmental organizations working in this sector.Report on “Corruption in the water sector” by Water Integrity Network in a book titled “Training Manual on Water Integrity” states that in the sub-Sahara Africa, forty-four percent (44 %) of the countries are unlikely to attain the Millennium Development Goal target for drinking water eighty-five percent (85%) are unlikely to attain the sanitation aspect. Estimate by the World Bank report suggests that twenty –forty percent (20 – 40% ) of water sector finances are being lost to dishonest practices.

Coming Soon! Rising Voices Microgrants for Amazon Communities

Amazon Peru, photo by Pearl Vas  (CC BY 2.0)

Amazon Peru, photo by Pearl Vas (CC BY 2.0)

Rising Voices will be launching a microgrant competition next month for digital citizen media projects in the Amazon region which is home to many indigenous communities. Thanks to Avina Americas, Fundación Avina, and the Skoll Foundation, we'll be offering this support with ongoing mentorship from the Global Voices community.

Read more about the project on Rising Voices and register your interest here.

Citizen media has played an important part in many cultural, political, social and environmental struggles in the region. See some of our past coverage of Amazon communities on the special coverage page: Forest Focus: Amazon.

Manga “1F” Takes You Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Ichi Efu, by Kazuto Tatsuta.

Ichi Efu, by Kazuto Tatsuta.

A manga by artist going by the name Kazuto Tatsuta takes readers inside the crippled nuclear plant of Fukushima Dai-Ichi, or ichi efu (1F) – as insiders dubbed it – a place he himself worked in 2012, a decision he took in a period of financial struggle.

The graphic novel “1F: The Labor Diary Of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant,” (いちえふ ~福島第一原子力発電所労働記~) offers a rare peek into the plant which was hit by one of the most powerful tsunamis in Japan's history on March 11, 2011.

The plant currently remains accessible exclusively to plant workers, employees of Tepco – the operating company – and few representatives of the press, on occasional tours.

In the pilot chapter, he describes the daily routine of the laborers, the different masks, layers of protective suits and clothing they have to wear every day, the use of an Active Personal Dosimeter which alerts them when they reach the daily radiation dose allowed, and their trip back and forth from the J-village, a former sports center that was converted into a residence for the laborers after the accident.

Tatsuta's manga won the 34th Manga Open award in 2013.

The Perils Of The Dams Coming Up for Mumbai Region

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) blog reports that as many as 12 dams are either being planned or are under construction to satisfy the increasing water demand of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in India. The Tribals and other affected groups have long been strongly opposing these projects but most people in Mumbai seems to be unaware of their struggles or impacts of these projects.

All of these dams fall in eco-sensitive region of the Western Ghats. They will together submerge more than 22,000 hectares of land, including nearly 7000 hectares of forests, lakhs of trees and more than 750 hectares of Tansa Sanctuary. They will affect a minimum of 100,000 tribals who depend on the forests and their ancestral lands for livelihoods. These dams include Kalu, Shai, Balganga, Susari, Khargihill, Bhugad, Pinjal, Gargai, Middle Vaitarna, Barvi and Poshir, among others. These are in addition to the dams already constructed for MMR water supply.

Malaysia's Water Shortage is a Natural and Man-Made Disaster

Water shortage has been reported in Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan, and Kedah in Malaysia. The Sin Chew Daily explains the cause of the problem:

…the drought and water shortage in the Peninsula are both natural and human-induced disasters. The government as well as the people have an inescapable responsibility.

Over-emphasising development while ignoring environmental protection has led to such man-made disasters while exposing the weakness of improper management. With proper management, floods could actually be reduced and water shortages could be avoided.

Lies and Falsehoods Keep the World Go ‘Round in Japan

Twitter user @suzaks1 criticized [ja] the amount of lies and inaccuracies that are making Japanese headlines:

[Japan is a] country covered in lies: fake ingredients on the menu of top Japanese hotels, railway gauges fabricated in Hokkaido, major symphony music by a fraud composer, and falsehoods continues to prevail in the nation's top-level research institute, as well as on doctoral dissertations. It's scary to see how this country is run by continuous frauds. No wonder the nuclear plant exploded. Even if the land ends up contaminated, they can just lie everyone and continue on with life.

A Map of China, By Stereotype

TeaLeafNation uses China's dominant search engine Baidu's search history to finish half-written questions about different provinces in China. They plot the stereotypes onto an interesting map about China. For example, Beijing was associated with “smog” and Xinjiang was considered as “being chaotic”. The piece has also explained the stereotypes about different provinces in details. 

 

 

Quran Desecration Sparks Trouble in Mauritania

The Mauritanian capital Nouakchott witnessed violent clashes [en] between security forces and an angry crowd. The story is that anonymous people tore up the Quran, the holy book of Islam, in one of the city's mosques. As a result of this confrontation, one person was killed [en] various people were injured and traffic was blocked in many parts of Nouakchott. The clashes happened on March 3.

Commenting the incident, blogger Abbas Braham urged his Facebook friends to be cautious and not fall in the trap of extremism (no matter what it is) [ar]:

حادثة “تدنيس”* المصاحف اليوم في العاصمة نواكشوط هي حالة تستدعي الانتباه والحذر. فلقد أصبح واضحاً أن التطرف القداسي والتطرف التدنيسي يغذيان بعضهما. وفي كل مرة نتعرض نحن في الوسط من المؤمنين باحترام المقدسات و/أو باحترام الحريات والحقوق لنيرانهما.

Today's  Koran”desecration”incident in the Capital Nouakchott is a case that raises concern and caution. It is now clear that both sacred extremism and desecration are feeding each another. And each time, it us — those are in the middle (when it comes to respecting sacredness and/or freedom and rights) — who the suffer the fires (lashes) from both parts.

“It Ain't Easy Being Indian” in the USA

Ricey Wild, a Native American blogger at the Indian Country Today, writes about wolf slaughtering in Minnesota, USA.

[...]My beloved friend Melissa came to get me last month to rally against the wolf hunt in Minnesota and everywhere. We went way up north and joined other people who care and are disgusted with the massacre taking place upon the wolf population.

[...]I look at my Mitzi and I can’t tell that her nearest relatives are okay to slaughter just because. I imagined a pack of Mitzi’s being pursued by ‘hunters’ and her wondering what she ever did to them? Why are they murdering her family? So yes, I cried and vowed to make my voice and presence acknowledged..

Her original post, entitled “It ain't easy being Indian”, was published in December 2013 and you can find it here.

The Sustainable Fishing Practices of Dhivehi Reef Fishermen

Maldivian blogger Hani Amir writes about the traditional fishing methods of the reef fishermen of Maldives which include catching tons of fish with their hands, instead of nets or rods. The bloggers also sheds light on how they are being exploited by greedy resort owners who tries to exploit them by not paying what they deserve.

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