HotSpots H2O, January 2: Sand Mining Stirs Controversy in India

The Global Rundown

Communities in Bolivia use GPS equipment to resolve water and land-sharing conflicts. Egypt suggests that international experts should help mediate a dispute over Ethiopia’s Nile river dam project. Violence erupts as villagers protest the growth of sand mining throughout India. Poor water access discourages residents from returning to their homes in war-torn Benghazi, Libya. Thousands in Somalia lose access to water and sanitation centers as IDP settlements are unexpectedly dismantled.

“Without water, there is no life. More than half of our district is affected by water problems, which is preventing people from coming back to their area.” –Ahmed, a resident of western Benghazi, Libya, in reference to the ongoing water shortages in the city. The government has been slow to renovate and replace the countless water pumps corroded during the years of conflict in Benghazi. Relief Web

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By The Numbers

23 Number of IDP settlements in Somalia that were unexpectedly destroyed last week. The destruction left more than 4,000 households without access to latrines, water points, and sanitation centers. Relief Web

60 million Number of new homes that India plans to build by 2024. The boom in construction has led to widespread sand mining along India’s rivers, causing flooding, groundwater shortages, and fish depletion. As environmental devastation grows, several spats of violence have erupted between locals and miners. The Guardian 

In context: Pursuing riches, miners plunder Tamil Nadu’s river sand

Science, Studies, And Reports

Along the Bolivia-Argentina border, tensions over land and water rights have simmered for centuries, but GPS equipment and other modern technology are helping communities share water more equitably. Aid organizations have paired with local villagers to map resources and harvest rainwater. Relief Web

On The Radar

Egypt has recommended to Ethiopia and Sudan that the three countries should let international experts mediate a dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt and Sudan, which lie downstream from Ethiopia, are concerned that the dam will restrict the amount of water flowing in the Nile River. Reuters