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Afghanistan: Women gain access to clean water

Until recently, women in the village of Jukna, in the remote province of Badghis in western Afghanistan, used to walk four kilometres a day to collect drinking water for their families. And even then, the scarce, brackish water was often a health hazard. “The women used to collect water from uncovermore

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India: Conserving medicinal plants, sustaining livelihoods

At 52, Janaki Devi, a traditional healer in the state of Uttarakhand, India, may not have received a formal education, yet the proficiency with which she prescribes herbal medicines has people travel from far and wide to consult her. Up until a few years ago, traditional healers like Janaki inheritemore

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Quake awareness in Uzbekistan given a shake-up

Like many of his neighbours in Uzbekistan’s capital of Tashkent, Abdugani Rakhimov has a clear memory of the 1966 earthquake that destroyed more than 78,000 homes and left 300,000 citizens homeless:  “It was the sound of shaking windows that woke us up. We realised it was an earthquake and ran more

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Organic farming breaks new ground in Zimbabwe

The Makoni Organic Farmers Association, developed to transition away from tobacco cultivation and chemical-intensive agriculture, is leading the way in environmental conservation and sustainable use of resources.  “In organic agriculture, we do not need to buy fertilizers or struggle to raise mmore

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Panama: Islanders integrate biodiversity conservation

Residents of the Pearl Islands and other archipelagoes in the Gulf of Panama always got everything from the sea. But, according to the islanders, fish population has been steadily declining, and so have jobs. Andrés Ramirez, a boat captain who services commuters between the islands, faces a diminismore

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Marshall Islands: Protecting drinking water from drought and sea level rise

By the time the Government declared a state of emergency in 2013, the wells had long run dry in the drought-stricken northern reaches of the Marshall Islands, and families had started fleeing to the capital Majuro. This idyllic paradise is set so low in the ocean that there are few freshwater reservmore

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In Ghana, a victory for energy efficiency

“I don’t have anything against old things, but when it comes to refrigerators, I can find a million reasons why new is better than old,” says George Effah Baffoe, a retired engineer and father of five as he turns in his old refrigerator for a new, energy-efficient one. Together, the 2 million fridgmore

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From biogas to ice cream,
Bhutan's newest 'cool thing'

The Bhutanese village of Singyegang, with 450 inhabitants, is home to hot and humid summers. It’s the kind of weather that calls for refreshments -- and ice cream tops the list. Until now, it was a “foreign” treat, mainly imported from neighboring India. But one small group of farmers saw an opportumore

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Timorese youth tackle waste and unemployment, one bottle at a time

Timor-Leste is a tiny country with a huge trash problem. Water is not potable -- as a result, plastic bottles of all sizes can be found everywhere, marring the country’s natural beauty and creating hazardous health and environmental conditions. The problem is especially glaring in the capital city omore

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In Mauritania, solar energy helps vulnerable communities

Sixty-year-old Aissata Hamath is a mother living in a vulnerable community on the outskirts of Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. She used to garden, making little money from the sale of her produce. But after a pilot project from the Association Nazaha for health and the environment set up a more