The Stream, April 29: Flash Floods Affect Thousands in Afghanistan

Middle East
More than 120 people were killed and at least 40,000 were affected by flash floods in six provinces across Afghanistan this past week, AlertNet reported. The floods were caused by heavy rainfall in the region, which is vulnerable to seasonal floods.

Environmental issues have been largely absent from political agendas in Pakistan, despite estimates that the country loses as much as 6 percent of its annual gross domestic product due to environmental degradation, according to a report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, AlertNet reported. The report said that just one political party in the country noted issues like water management, deforestation, and sustainable farming.

Zimbabwe’s National Water Authority is approximately $US 140 million in debt and is nearly bankrupt, according to government sources, Bloomberg News reported. Local news outlets also reported that the agency is having difficulties paying salaries and purchasing water treatment chemicals.

A shortage of funds has also been cited as the reason for stalled construction work on Zimbabwe’s Gwayi-Shangani dam, Bloomberg News reported. The dam is meant to improve water security for the city of Bulawayo, which has long suffered water shortages, but the remaining cost of construction is $US 90 million.

United Kingdom
More than half of the work conducted by the United Kingdom’s Food and Environment Research Agency may soon be completed by a joint venture with private sector investors, the Guardian reported. Government officials are expected to announce the joint venture today, but many are concerned about what it will mean for the future of scientists and their research.

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