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Myanmar: Jade Mining Slag Heap Collapse Kills More Than 160

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar

At least 162 people died 2 July after heavy rains caused a landslide at a jade mine in Kachin state, Myanmar, close to the Chinese border. About 30 meters of waste soil collapsed into a lake of mine wastewater, creating a large wave which hit those working at the perimeter of the lake.

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Partnership Aims To Accelerate Shift To Resilient Infrastructure

CORVALLIS OR, United States

A new partnership between the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and The Resilience Shift aims to boost global efforts to accelerate a shift to more resilient infrastructure. The alliance will build on the partners’ respective desires to develop mechanisms to advance resilience implementation and the level of understanding around water and resilience more broadly.

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Conflict And COVID Effects On Water Access And Basic Services In Eastern Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine

Ongoing shelling in eastern Ukraine continues to disrupt vital water supplies and access to food and basic services, a 25 June assessment from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reports. Meantime movement restrictions due to COVID-19 have particularly affected thousands of already vulnerable and elderly populations.

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Cooperative Water Distribution Initiative Fosters Peace Along Isfara River

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan

The United Nations’ Cross-border Cooperation for Sustainable Pease and Development programme is yielding successful results in modernising water management along the Isfara River running between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

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Gambia Water Infrastructure To Benefit From World Bank Funding

Banjul, The Gambia

An additional $43 Million USD additional World Bank funding will be applied to The Gambia’s Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project to include the water sector in the programme’s mandate, to strengthen the National Water and Electricity Company’s (NAWEC) transmission and distribution network, and to provide support to transform NAWEC into a credit-worthy utility.

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China Releases Water From Three Gorges Dam To Alleviate Flooding As Torrential Rains Persist

BEIJING, China

China's Ministry of Water Resources upgraded its emergency response for flood control from Level Four to Level Three on 4 July, as incessant rains continue across the country. Level One is the highest level of response.

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More Water Disputes At India's Northern Border

THIMPHU, Bhutan

The government of Bhutan has firmly denied media reports that it had deliberately blocked the supply of water along an irrigation canal into the northen province of Assam, India, amid suggestions that the reports were an attempt by vested interests to spread misinformation and misunderstanding.

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Ghana Accedes To Water And Watercourses Conventions For Transboundary Cooperation

ACCRA, Ghana

Ghana has confirmed accession to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), becoming the third African country and 44th Party to join the Convention, managed by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Ghana also has become a Party to the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (Watercourses Convention).

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Enhanced Support For Ganga Basin Management, Pollution Control

DelhI, India

The World Bank has announced additional funding for India’s Namami Gange program that is designed to rejuvenate the Ganga River. The $400 Million USD financing will finance the construction of expanded water networks and treatment facilities in order to stem pollution and strengthen river basin management.

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European Union Water Framework Directive Legislation Will Be Retained

BRUSSELS, Belgium

The European Commission has confirmed that the European Union’s strong water legislation, the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), will not be changed.

The landmark confirmation for Europe’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands marks a success for the #ProtectWater Campaign that was launched in 2018 by WWF and European partners who, together, form lobgying group Living Rivers Europe.

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"OOSKAnews Voices": Beyond 2030

MUMBAI, India

OOSKAnews Voices is a series of guest columns written by participants in different parts of the international water community.

In this article, Jayantika Kutty discusses a "Blue Peace Bulletin" for the month of June, 2020, titled "Beyond 2030". Blue Peace Bulletins are a series of monthly publications which aims to provide a snapshot of water, peace and security issues from around the world. In this article, Kutty elaborates on the necessity of having a long-term perspective on water governance based on how different variables impact a finite resource such as water. Kutty works as a Research Analyst with Strategic Foresight Group (SFG), a think-tank whose work revolves around water, peace and security issues and is based in Mumbai, India. She has been a part of the research team on several SFG publications which have been used at various international conferences and have been reprinted by the media in different parts of the world. Kutty has completed her MA in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes from the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica.
 

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WASH Actors Call For Fulfillment Of Support Committed To Yemen

GENEVA, Switzerland

An open letter, signed by thirty international agencies and charitable organisations, pleads for fulfilment of commitments for aid to Yemen.

The 15 June letter "rom "The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) actors in Yemen" identifies that COVID-19 is spreading throughout Yemen, one of the most water scarce countries in the world. The group identifies that over five years of conflict have damaged water systems, leaving the health sector on the brink of collapse and have contributed to outbreaks of disease, including cholera. The group estimates that over 70 percent of the population lack access to soap for handwashing and personal hygiene and basic water supplies required to cope with COVID-19.

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CAPOOP Alliance Launches Knowledge Sharing Platform For WASH In Africa

DAKAR, Senegal

“Communications, Advocacy & Policy Opportunities and Outreach for Poop” (known as the CAPOOP Alliance) has launched a new platform for for knowledge share in the sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector across Africa.

The platform, announced 15 June, accesses knowledge and expertise across Africa and is intended to provide tailor-made, user-friendly tools and resources directed to assist experts and professionals working on key sanitation issues, particularly fecal sludge management and non-sewered sanitation in Africa.

Human Rights Violations, Water Contamination Alleged At Colombia Mine

LA GUIJIRA, Colombia

The indigenous Wayuu communities of Colombia have launched an urgent appeal for the UN Human Rights Council to intervene in an alleged human rights crisis caused by operations of the Cerrejon coal mine which is backed by Australian mining giant BHP.

The mine reportedly uses 24 million litres of water per day, and operations have contaminated the Rancheria River which is the main source of drinking water in the region. In addition, a planned mine expansion also includes diversion of the nearby Bruno stream, an alternative source of drinking water.

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New Green Criteria For Sustainable Investment In Europe

BRUSSELS, Belgium

The European Parliament this month approved new legislation that establishes clear “green” criteria for investors is critical to raising public and private funding so that the European Union can become carbon neutral by 2050 as set out in the European Green Deal.

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"aquaNOW Audiences" In Conversation: Scotland's Hydro Nation International Centre

EDINBURGH, Scotland

Professor Bob Ferrier, Director of the Hydro Nation International Centre (HNIC) at The James Hutton Institute (JHI), Scotland, is in conversation with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews – VIDEO LINK

Ferrier describes the rationale of the Scottish Government's Hydro Nation Programme; the work of the globally renowned JHI; and the Hydro Nation International Centre.

As one of the largest interdisciplinary centres of its kind, the Centre contributes to Scotland’s continued efforts to become the world’s first Hydro Nation – one that manages its water environment to the best advantage and uses its expertise at home and internationally.

HNIC provides a translational hub for the water community-of-practice around the world. By helping commissioners and stakeholders/users of research to access the correct expertise and talent it supports innovation and impact, to the benefit of all, linking industry, policy, research, and agencies to support economic development and good stewardship of water resources and to share best practices around the world. HNIC operates as a virtual centre to coordinate and amplify the impact of a range of waters-related initiatives and groupings. It is nominally based at the James Hutton Institute’s site in Aberdeen, Scotland but has an international focus, links and spheres of activity that will extend the benefits from these groups and initiatives. It brings together a critical mass of the Scottish water research community to focus on developing talent, promoting innovation, supporting expertise and maximising outcomes that can be applied in any global context.

Professor Ferrier has over 30 years’ experience in water resources management, with a particular focus on developing a holistic approach to achieving sustainable solutions to resource management. He has worked globally on issues such as acid rain, diffuse pollution, contaminants, catchment to coast interactions, driven by climate change, land use, and human influences.

The Scottish government's Hydro Nation initiative collaborates in the aquaNOW Audiences panel show series, produced by OOSKAnews.

Background, and footage of the “aquaNOW Audiences” series can be found here.

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Mekong River Commission Calls For Water Flow Transparency From China

VIENTIANE, Laos

The Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) annual report, published 16 June, includes a noteworthy statement calling for increased transparency from China over upstream dam operations on the river. The Mekong is Southeast Asia's longest river and acts as a lifeline to 60 million people.

Downtream Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam all suffered severe drought in 2019 as the river fell to record lows while upstream dams in China reportedly held "above-average natural flow”, withholding water and compounding the drought.

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Unilever Commits $100 Million USD Per Year For Ten Years For New Climate Change & Nature Fund

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands

Multinational consumer goods company Unilever has announced creation of a new Climate & Nature Fund with a commitment to invest $1.1 Billion USD across all brands over the next ten years.

The new range of measures, announced 15 June, is described as being designed to improve health of the planet through decisive action to fight climate change, and protect and regenerate nature. Programmes will be directed at landscape restoration, reforestation, carbon sequestration, wildlife protection and water preservation. Unilever intends to work with stakeholders and governments and to improve access to water, especially in water-stressed areas.

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New Funding Support For Gaza Wastewater Treatment Plant

WASHINGTON DC, United States

New funding has been confirmed for operation support and maintenance of the North Gaza wastewater treatment plant. The World Bank announced new funding of $10 Million USD 10 June for four years, and is further supported with $3.7 Million USD from the Partnership for Infrastructure Development Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

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