Half empty or half full?

Photo credit: Google

Mapping Africa’s groundwater: translating information into action

Thomson Reuters Foundation – Mon, 23 Jul 2012 09:45 GMT


Author: John Thomas, Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Robert Marten ? Rockefeller Foundation

Map shows groundwater irrigation potential in Africa


Today (June 17) marks the UN’s World Day to Combat Desertification. This year’s theme – attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems – cannot be achieved without smart water management. This is where a new map from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) can help.

Highlighted in a recent journal article, the map provides an in-depth look at groundwater irrigation potential in Africa. The map was developed using four decades of groundwater data along with crop information from the beginning of the century. It predicts groundwater availability for irrigation after other human needs are met, and is based on three scenarios with 30%, 50% and 70% of groundwater supplies left to sustain a healthy water flow and other environmental requirements.

Read the full article: IWMI

Goats instead of dollars

Photo credit: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION / Isaiah Esipisu – Photo 960-1.jpg. 

Drought-hit Kenyan farmers bank on goats as new currency

Author: Isaiah Esipisu


The small-scale farmers, who contribute funds to a savings pool and are eligible for small loans from it, aimed to use the funds to improve their farms and boost their harvests of hardy crops like pigeon pea.

“But with this kind of climate, which has dried up even the most resilient pigeon peas on our farms, no other crop can easily survive,”

So the group has instead turned to a safer investment to hold onto their cash: hardy local goats.

So-called “table banking” – conducted over an ordinary family table – was introduced to the Mwingi area in 2011 by ActionAid International Kenya – a humanitarian nongovernmental organisation – as part of an effort to strengthen livelihoods in the difficult region. But changing heat and rainfall have made that difficult.

Read the full article (Marked with highlights): THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

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