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Water restores joy to communities in Ecuador

“In the past, horses were used to transport water. Families only had 4 liters a day, and children went to school without showering”, says Eureo Sánchez, a teacher in the village of Unión Manabita, north of Ecuador. Until recently, the coverage and quality of water and sanitation services was below tmore

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Preserving biodiversity, protecting livelihoods in Burundi

Located in northeastern Burundi, the Ruvubu National Park is the country’s largest protected ecosystem.  Spread over more than 50 000 hectares, it is home to rare species of plants and animals such as buffaloes. However, this unique ecosystem is threatened by poaching, bush fires, woodcutting, more

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Light reaches rural communities in the Dominican Republic

After the fall of darkness in the town of La Cabirma, along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the muted glow of kerosene lamps and cuaba, or pine kindling, used to be the only source of light for residents. While oil for kerosene lamps was expensive, eating away at villagers' meagre earnmore

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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