Long walk for a drop of water in Angola,water scarcity in angola,africa breaking news

Long walk for a drop of water in Angola

According to the World Food Programme, the lack of rain between November 2020 and January 2021 has resulted in the worst drought in 40 years in the Huila Province of Southern Angola.

These several months of no rain have taken away the life out of the vast region and brought communities to near starvation. As a measure to survive, thousands of people have to trek several kilometers to find water, food, and kind of vegetation.

In the extreme heat, people are often caught amidst the wildfire as well. The government of Angola have started building three water projects in the provinces of Cunene and Huila. The water ministry said the dams will significantly reduce the impact of the drought in the affected regions.

Manuel Quintino, who is the director-general of the National Institute of Water Resources of the Ministry of Energy and Water mentions that they are creating a water reserve to meet the needs of the population, livestock, and of agricultural activity, more specifically irrigation. This new water project is valued at $630 million.

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Looking at the broader picture, environmentalists have raised their voices and concerns about possible damage to ecosystems which they say could aggravate climate change. They are of the opinion that river diversion solutions can alter entire ecosystems.

And it is necessary that there are very sensitive evaluations about what changes could be caused by the diversion of rivers. Not only at the level of populations, species that live in the rivers themselves.

Since Cunene and Huila provinces are some of Angola’s poorest and prone to adverse weather conditions, thus the ramifications of the water project will be first implemented in these districts.

Deprose Muchena, who is the Director for Amnesty International for East and Southern Africa says that millions of people in southern Angola are on the brink of starvation, caught between the devastating effects of climate change and the land diversion to commercial cattle farming. And the situation in southern Angola is a stark reminder that climate change is already causing suffering and death.