Wednesday, December 30, 2009

AFRICA: Drying, Drying, Disappearing…

AFRICA: Drying, Drying, Disappearing…
Source: Inter Press Service
Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author's alone.

By Paul VirgoROME, Dec 26 (IPS) - Lake Chad was bigger than Israel less than 50 years ago. Today its surface area is les than a tenth of its earlier size, amid forecasts the lake could disappear altogether within 20 years. Climate change and overuse have put one of Africa's mightiest lakes in mortal danger, and the livelihoods of the 30 million people who depend on its waters is hanging by a thread as a result.An unprecedented crisis is looming that would create fresh hunger in a region already suffering grave food insecurity, and pose a massive threat to peace and stability, experts say."If Lake Chad dries up, 30 million people will have no means of a livelihood, and that is a big security problem because of growing competition for smaller quantities of water," Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) tells IPS in Rome."Poverty and hunger will increase. When there is no food to eat, there is bound to be violence."The lake, which shrank 90 percent between 1963 and 2001 from 25,000 square kilometres to under 1,500, is bordered by Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


1. Pada setiap hari perjalanan hidup kita apakah kenderaan yang kita naiki. Apakah kenderaan itu kereta, kapalterbang, kapal, kuda atau segala macam jenis pengangkutan laut darat juga udara.
2. Itu semua memanglah kenderaan diatas dunia ini. Tapi bila kita mati kenderaan ini akan diwarisi. Tapi apakah kenderaan yang kita sentiasa naiki siang malam samada tidur jaga, pengsan, sakit, susah senang selama 24 jam tanpa henti.
3. Pada hakikatnya UMUR kita itulah kenderaan kita yang sebenarnya. Jika 40 tahun umur kita bermakna sudah jauh perjalanan kita yang dibawa oleh umur tersebut. Kenderaan ini tidak akan berpatah balik dimana ia datang. Ia akan sentiasa ketempat tujuannya iaitu KUBUR. Bila kita mati maka kenderaan (umur) tadi pun tidak akan membawa kita kemana-mana lagi tempat didunia ini. Kerana tempat persinggahan terakhir umur kita ialah kubur. Jadi gunakan kenderaan ini dengan sebaik-baiknya semasa ia masih ada untuk ketempat-tempat yang diredhai oleh ALLAH SWT sebelum ia sampai ke kubur. Bila kita mati kenderaan (umur) lain pula yang akan membawa kita. Kenderaan itu akan kekal untuk selama-lamanya. Jika baik balasan maka berbahagia dan begitulah sebaliknya.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Climate change and freshwater part 3…rising sea levels and island nations at risk

Since the mid to late 1800’s sea levels have been very slowly rising…about 1 cm a year which is so small who would notice? It’s now been about a century and some change and the rate of rising is starting to accelerate to about 2 cm a year. The tiny changes over the years are becoming noticeable. Sea levels are rising and we are learning that in the last decade alone the rate is up to about 3cm a year.The threat of rising sea levels to our coastal cities is being felt around the world such as the magnificent historical city of Venice, Italy…a place on my “bucket list” [the list of things you want to see and do before you die or "kick the bucket" in American slang]. Poor Venice has a double whammy of both slowly sinking as a result of its own weight on the barrier islands it was constructed upon and a rising Adriatic Sea. Venice is not alone..more than half of the world’s population lives within 60 Kilometers [36 miles] of the coast and the effects of a rising sea and retreating coastline is a serious issue for all of us. I’m not going to be focusing on coastal effects here, instead this post is the warm up to the issue of freshwater and island nations. As you’ve hopefully read in my previous posts I believe that islands hold lessons for the rest of us on the mainlands. Islands are the “Miner’s Canary” for us and when island nations start running into issues, in this case sea levels and freshwater, we need to pay attention.

Rising seas threaten 20 million in Bangladesh

11 Dec 2009 13:39:37 GMT
Source: Reuters
DHAKA, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Rising sea levels, triggered by global warming, will displace about 20 million people in low-lying Bangladesh, a study by a state-run think-tank said on Friday.

"The sea level will rise at least by three metres (yards) submerging some 18 percent of the country by 2050," the Dhaka-based Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) said.

IWM was set up in 1996 for planning and management of Bangladesh's water resources and to monitor rise in sea level and its probable adverse effects.

Bangladesh would need $4.16 billion for building embankments and forestation to secure inhabitants from rising seas, the think- tank said.

"Only embankments with deep forestation along the coast and coastal rivers can protect millions of people," it said.

The existing embankments should be raised up to six metres to protect the coastal villages from being devoured by sea, the study said.

Bangladesh has said it would need $10 billion from big polluting nations to help it adapt to powerful storms, floods and rising seas.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 03 Dec 2009 Source: Reuters

RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - A policeman walks past the body of a man, who was killed by a stray bullet when the funeral procession for Reverend Gerard Jean-Juste was broken up by gunshots, in front of the national palace in Port-au-Prince June 18, 2009. The funeral procession for Jean-Juste, an ally of Haiti's former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was broken up by gunshots from U.N. soldiers and at least one person was killed by stray bullets, according to witnesses. The U.N. has yet to make a statement on this incident. REUTERS/St Felix Evens (HAITI POLITICS OBITUARY CONFLICT IMAGES OF THE DAY)

People look at the wreckage of a bus after a blast ripped through it in Sayyedeh Zeinab, near Damascus 03 Dec 2009 Source: Reuters

People look at the wreckage of a bus after a blast ripped through it in Sayyedeh Zeinab, near Damascus, December 3, 2009. The blast ripped through a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims on Thursday, killing at least three people in an incident Syria said was an accident and not a terrorist attack. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri (SYRIA POLITICS CONFLICT DISASTER)


REUTERS PICTURES OF THE DECADE. A Georgian man cries as he holds the body of his relative after a bombardment in Gori, 80 km (50 miles) from Tbilisi, August 9, 2008. A Russian warplane dropped a bomb on an apartment block in Gori on Saturday, killing at least 5 people, a Reuters reporter said. The bomb hit the five-story building close to Georgia's embattled breakaway province of South Ossetia when Russian warplanes carried out a raid against military targets around the town. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich (GEORGIA)

Fourteen-month-old Yabila Kubemboli

Fourteen-month-old Yabila Kubemboli, who is malnourished after his mother fled attacks on her village by Ugandan Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, awaits treatment at the hospital in the village of Dungu in northeastern Congo, February 20, 2009. (REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly) #

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - Six-year-old Sara Luce and her mother eat as they rest outdoors after an earthquake caused the collapse of St. Salvatore Hospital in Aquila April 6, 2009. A powerful earthquake struck a swathe of central Italy as residents slept on Monday morning, killing more than 90 people and flattening whole towns. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito (ITALY DISASTER HEALTH IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)


RNPS IMAGES OF THE YEAR 2009 - An injured girl cries during an evacuation after an earthquake hit Padang, Indonesia's Sumatra island September 30, 2009. A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the city of Padang on Indonesia's Sumatra island on Wednesday, killing at least 75 people and trapping thousands under rubble, officials said. REUTERS/Muhammad Fitrah/Singgalang Newspaper (INDONESIA DISASTER ENVIRONMENT) QUALITY FROM SOURCE

Chernobyl disaster

The Chornobyl disaster was a nuclear reactor accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). It is considered to be the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history and the only level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale. It resulted in a severe release of radioactivity following a massive power excursion that destroyed the reactor. Most deaths from the accident were caused by radiation poisoning. On 26 April 1986 at 01:23 a.m. (UTC+3) reactor number four at the Chornobyl plant, near Prypiat in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, exploded. Further explosions and the resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area. Four hundred times more fallout was released than had been by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.[2]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. The nuclear reactor after the disaster. Reactor 4 (center). Turbine building (lower left). Reactor 3 (center right).
2. The abandoned city of Prypiat with Chornobyl plant in the distance.
3. Abandoned housing blocks in Prypiat.

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