Weekly Water Report Middle East & Africa Stories

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US Grants Jordan $166 Million USD For Water Network Improvement

AMMAN, Jordan

The US and Jordan have signed grant agreements totaling $166 Million USD to rehabilitate Amman’s water resources and to install smart meters.

The grants, announced August 8, support Jordans’ 2016-2015 water strategy that seeks to generate additional water amounts and reduce Jordan’s water loss from the current 43 per cent to 25 per cent by the year 2025.

South Africa Activists Highlight Magalies Water Board Mismanagement

RUSTENBERG

The South African non-profit civil action group, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), has written to Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti highlighting issues at the Magalies Water Board. Governance issues at a water utility responsible for the crucial service of water delivery cannot be ignored, says OUTA.

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South Africa Considers Ban On Microbeads

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa

South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs is to consider a total ban on manufacture, importation and use of microbeads – the tiny plastic beads used in cosmetics, toothpaste and sandblasting.

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Toxic Algae Threaten Sweden's Drinking Water

STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Toxic blue-green algae blooms are creating problems at Swedish water treatment plants as Europe's heatwave persists. The blooms thrive at higher temperatures and water purifiers are at risk of failing to filter toxic substances that have large accumulations of cyanobacteria. Drinking water containing excessive amounts of cyanobacteria can cause stomach problems and liver damage.

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Windhoek Introduces New Water Use Restrictions

WINDHOEK

The City of Windhoek once again announced a water crisis and is restricting hair saloons, car washes and construction sites from using too much water and has now moved from Category B, which means there was a need to be alert about the low water levels, to Category C, which shows that there is a drought, and water savings need to be increased to 10%.

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New AfDB Financing Opportunities For Zambia Water, Agriculture

LUSAKA

An African Development Bank (AfDB) team of experts, led by Martin Fregene, director of agricultural infrastructure and Wambui Gichuri, director of water development and sanitation, visited Zambia from 23-27 July to identify businesses in the nation’s water and agriculture sectors and explore new financing opportunities for the country’s development.

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Iraq, Iran To Cooperate On Shatt Al-Arab Dam To Address Scarcity?

BAGHDAD, Iraq

Iraq's southern Basra province region is suffering from a severe water crisis, with many blaming upstream dams in Turkey, Syria and Iran for shrinkage of Tigris and Euphrates riverflow. A shortage of seasonal rainfall and poor infrastructure have exacerbated lack of freshwater, allowing saline incursion into farm land from the Arabian Gulf.

EU Announces Solar Field In Gaza To Power Desal, But Israel Blockade Includes Building Materials For Infrastructure

BRUSSELS, Belgium

The European Union (EU) last week announced switch-on of the biggest photovoltaic solar field in Gaza toprovide 0.5 Megawatts of electricity per day to fuel the Southern Gaza Desalination Plant. The EU investment will enable the desal plant to expand its ability to provide drinking water from 75,000 inhabitants to 250,000 people in Southern Gaza by 2020.

Yemen: Port Of Hudaydah is "One Airstrike Away From Unstoppable Cholera Epidemic", Says UN. Then There Were More Airstrikes

HUDAYDAH, Yemen

Updated August 8

Early reports suggest multiple deaths and injuries after Yemen’s largest hospital, Al Thawra, was hit August 2, said Dr. Peter Salama, who is in charge of Emergency Preparedness and Response at the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We’re particularly saddened at WHO by the attack on one of the major hospitals in the country yesterday, Al Thawra in Al Hudaydah,” he said. According to latest news reports, at least 20 have been killed by several air strikes, which also hit a fish market in the city.

WHO called  "on all parties to the conflict to act in accordance with international humanitarian law and to respect the request of the UN and international community for three full days of tranquility and to lay down arms to allow us to vaccinate the civilian population for cholera".

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WSP Acquires Controversial US Government Consultancy Louis Berger For $400 Million USD

WASHINGTON, DC

Canadian consultancy WSP Global is to buy professional services business Louis Berger for $400 Million USD.

The acquisition will add 5,000 people to WSP’s workforce, predominantly strengthening the company's United States footprint, while broadening WSP’s presence in Continental Europe (mainly Spain and France), Middle East and Latin America.

South Africa Commission To Examine Iceberg Towing Feasibility

CAPE TOWN

The Water Research Commission is to investigate the proposal to tow an iceberg to Cape Town to establish whether it is feasible as a new source of water. The commission has asked the brains behind the project, salvage expert Nick Sloane, to set up a seminar where they can get a more detailed understanding of the project.

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Women May Get Standing-Style Urinals After Successful South Africa Trials

DURBAN

Schools should be a testing ground for female urinals, a new report commissioned by the Water Research Commission (WRC) says – and if they work there, such standing urinals should be rolled out more broadly, including at malls and taxi ranks.

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