The Stream, September 28: Chile Approves Construction of Latin America’s Largest Desalination Plant

The Global Rundown

Chile approves the development of the largest desalination plant in Latin America. The price of wool soars in Australia as farmers struggle to feed their sheep. More than 200 sewage workers have died in India this year, sparking outrage. A “medicane” brings heavy rain and winds to Greece. The death toll from recent flooding in Nigeria reaches 199. Cholera cases in Harare, Zimbabwe, fall but the city’s crumbling sanitation and water infrastructure leaves it vulnerable to another outbreak.

“In the area of sanitation, which has caused cholera in Zimbabwe, we now understand that the system is over 60 years old. Sewage and water pipes leak and interexchange quantities resulting in cholera.” –Emmerson Mnangagwa, the president of Zimbabwe, in reference to faltering water and sanitation systems in the capital Harare. A recent cholera outbreak has killed at least 45 Harare residents in the last three weeks. The number of new cases has decreased following a public health campaign, but sanitation conditions in many parts of the city remain poor. Al Jazeera

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By The Numbers

20 percent Increase in the price of Australian merino wool this year. Prices are above-average due to Australia’s ongoing drought, which has left many farmers unable to adequately feed their flocks. Australia exports 90 percent of the world’s fine wool. Reuters

199 Death toll from flooding in Nigeria over the last several weeks. The flooding has affected more than 826,000 people, as well as devastating the country’s cocoa and rice crops. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, And Reports

After a year of evaluation, the Chilean government approved construction of Latin America’s largest desalination plant. Once completed, the plant will provide water to industrial clients in Chile’s Atacama desert. Reuters

On The Radar

Heavy rains and wind are battering Greece, and meteorologists say that a “medicane”–a hurricane-like storm in the Mediterranean Ocean–is likely to form on Friday. Severe weather warnings have been issued across the country through Sunday. The New York Times

Spotlight: India

Follow The Stream for daily coverage on India’s water crisis.

Manual scavenging, the process of cleaning latrines or sewers, is officially banned in India, but the practice remains widespread. This year alone, 221 people have died in the process of cleaning sewers, due to toxic fumes, falls, and other accidents. People across India are calling for stricter enforcement of laws against manual scavenging. Al Jazeera

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