The Stream, November 28: Desperate, Displaced Afghan Families Marry Off Children to Survive Drought

The Global Rundown

Desperate Afghan families begin marrying off young children to help survive the country’s severe drought. The UN World Meteorological Organization says there is a 75-80 percent chance of an El Niño weather event occurring by February. Thousands of drought-resistant trees are planted in the Lake Chad Region to combat climate change. Impoverished urban children are more likely to die than their rural counterparts, often due to a lack of water and other basic services, a report by UNICEF finds. Households across the United States begin adopting environmentally-friendly porous driveways.

“It’s much better for the environment because it helps cut down on storm runoff, which picks up motor oil and other pollutants, overburdens water treatment facilities, and can ultimately end up in local waterways.” –Margaret Mayfield, an architect in Los Osos, California, in reference to permeable or porous driveways. Environmentally-conscious homeowners in the United States are adopting such driveways in place of traditional asphalt. The New York Times

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By The Numbers

75-80 percent Chance of an El Niño event forming by February, according to analysis from the UN World Meteorological Organization. If it occurs, the weather pattern will disrupt global weather patterns and is likely to bring droughts, floods, and warmer temperatures. The Guardian

161 Child betrothals or marriages documented in drought-stricken Herat and Badghis, Afghanistan, between July and October 2018. Desperate Afghan families have begun marrying off young children in exchange for dowries to help survive the country’s brutal, ongoing drought. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Millions of poor children in certain urban areas are at higher risk for death and illness than their rural counterparts, according to a UNICEF report. Many families migrate to cities to improve their livelihoods, but immense gaps in urban services such as water, sanitation, and food security leave young children vulnerable. Reuters

On The Radar

An initiative by the UN Development Programme has led to the planting of tens of thousands of trees in the Lake Chad region. The drought-resistant trees are intended to halt desertification, improve regional vegetation cover, and help farmers adapt to a changing climate. UN News

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