In India, the enormous challenge of achieving the sustainable growth of a country that in a few years will be the most populated in the world, should be based on avoiding the ruin of small farmers, empowering them to fight drought, the degradation of the land, single-crop farming and social imbalance. The construction of small self-managed reservoirs brings life to the most impoverished farmers and is a development model to be followed in semiarid regions.
Water News and Reports
The periodic crises in the African “Hunger Belt” have provided a more accurate and effective vision of the relationship between desertification and human activities. Regardless of the droughts, poor resource exploitation practices have been determinants of land degradation. The African Great Green Wall project gives hope to the Sahel, one of the most vulnerable areas to the current climate crisis.
The collection of rainwater is vital in the most arid regions of India. The severe drought and the uneven rainfall in these regions bring about a return of the ancestral rainfall collection techniques. Thanks to their regenerating effect on aquifers, they have become a key element in the fight against desertification and in the empowerment of the poorest farmers. The rains in September and October have proved that the small reservoirs and tanks such as the ones in Gajikunta and Girigetla are the basis of the life of all farmers in their surroundings.
The overexploitation of aquifers puts in check the agricultural development of the soon to be most populated country on Earth and menaces millions of farmers who see that the climate uncertainty threatens their future. The return to primitive water storage techniques and the implementation of efficient irrigation systems are feasible solutions for the farmers with less resources and a roadmap for other semiarid zones of the planet.
A water drop lost in the irrigation process is a treasure lost in the soil. The farmers with an increasingly menaced future due to drought cannot stand still while the little water they have left evaporates: without it they are bound to extreme poverty. The drip irrigation systems avoid the evaporation of water and the misery of those who lose it. For all of them each drop is the treasure of a lifetime.
Poppy Taaibos needs to fetch water from her neighbours' house, which are more fortunate than her and also let her use the bathroom. Her younger brothers use the back of the house. This is the situation of four out of ten South African children.
In India, millions of farmers await a rainy summer in order to survive. From June to September the country lives on the lookout for a monsoon that is more necessary than ever after last year´s disastrous drought. The farming sector looks towards India as a reference point in the fight against an aridity that threatens to devour the life of the poorest.
In addition to their roles as carbon sinks, forests are a decisive element for climate regulation and the maintenance of the water cycle and they are the main obstacle to desertification. The eradication of the poverty of its inhabitants is the first step to preserve this plant mass, essential to win our fight against climate change.
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