The Stream, March 17: Investors Suspend Support For Dam After Honduras Activists Murdered

The Global Rundown

Two international financial institutions withdrew their support of Honduras’ Agua Zarca dam after two activists who had opposed the dam were murdered. Droughts and record high temperatures have placed 36 million people in Africa at risk of hunger. Venezuela plans to extend the Easter holiday to reduce electricity demand amid drought-linked shortages. New crop insurance programs in Indonesia aim to help farmers survive droughts and floods, while India hopes for a better monsoon this year to replenish reservoir levels. The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan’s governor will testify about the Flint water crisis before a Congressional committee today.

“It’s possible this year could be worrisome if El Nino continues. Water security is India’s biggest challenge.” –Shashi Shekhar, secretary of India’s Ministry of Water Resources, on consecutive years of drought that have reduced water reserves in 75 percent of the country’s reservoirs to levels below the 10-year average. (Bloomberg)

By The Numbers

36 million people Number in Africa who face hunger due to El Nino-linked droughts and record high temperatures. Guardian

$13 per hectare Cost of a premium in Bali under a new crop insurance initiative to protect farmers from droughts, floods, and other disasters. The government will pay 80 percent. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Emails released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday revealed that administrator Gina McCarthy warned last September that the water crisis in Flint, Michigan had “the opportunity to get very big very quickly”. McCarthy and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will testify today in front of a Congressional committee investigating the crisis. Reuters

On The Radar

A second environmental activist in Honduras has been murdered, two weeks after high-profile organizer Berta Caceres was killed in her home. The two activists both belonged to the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, which has opposed big development projects like the Agua Zarca dam. On Wednesday, international investors suspended their support of the dam. Guardian / teleSUR

Venezuela’s government announced plans to extend the Easter holiday next week from two to five days in an effort to alleviate electricity shortages. A drought has reduced water levels at key hydropower dams in the country. Bloomberg

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