The Stream, December 2: Droughts Threaten Energy, Development in Africa

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Droughts in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe are putting pressure on hydropower production, while extreme droughts in southern Africa could put development gains at risk. Meanwhile, heavy rains have flooded Chennai, India. An airstrike in Aleppo, Syria, last week cut off water supplies to millions of people. The tailings dam disaster at an iron ore mine in Brazil will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, according to one of the mine’s owners.

“In Syria, the rules of war, including those meant to protect vital civilian infrastructure, continue to be broken on a daily basis. The air-strike which reportedly hit al-Khafseh water treatment plant in the northern city of Aleppo last Thursday is a particularly alarming example.”– Hanaa Singer, the UNICEF representative in Syria, on an airstrike last week that left 3.5 million people in Aleppo temporarily without water. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$1.2 billion Amount of a loan from China to Zimbabwe to restore and expand the country’s coal-fired Hwange power plant. Production of hydropower, a major energy source in Zimbabwe, has been inhibited by low water levels. Bloomberg

$443 million Amount Brazilian mining company Vale SA estimates a tailings dam failure at its Samarco iron mine last month will cost the company. Lawsuits and clean-up costs will likely increase that number. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

Rainfall amounted to 1049.3 millimeters in Chennai, India, during November, making it the most severe rainfall in nearly a century. After the latest rainstorm, areas of the city and the airport are flooded, and schools have been closed. NDTV

On the Radar

On The Radar

A lackluster rainy season could lead to water shortages at hydropower stations in Ethiopia over the next several months, according to government officials. The country generates more than 90 percent of its electricity from hydropower. Bloomberg

A severe drought in southern Africa is creating water shortages in Botswana. Droughts and other severe weather could harm the development progress made in the region if water infrastructure and management improvements do not occur, according to experts. Vice News

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