The Volta Basin Development Foundation took journalists to some of the resettlement towns from Akosombo Dam, and spoke with some of the community leaders.
Campaign Against Gibe III Dam
Friends of Lake Turkana organized actions for this March 14th, in their ongoing campaign against the construction of the Gibe III dam on the Omo River in Ethiopia, which runs into Lake Turkana in Kenya. In past years for the Day of Action for Rivers, community meetings were held, as well as campaigns to send letters and materials about the impacts of the Gibe III to all members of the Kenyan parliament and other organizations and agencies.
Friends of Lake Turkana
Mobilizations to End River Pollution
Actions to educate communities, government actors, and industries about sources of pollution to the Nanyuki and Likii Rivers, originating from Mount Kenya, were held on March 14th.
Testimonies by elderly people in the region report that the rivers were once cleaner, with more abundant fish and wildlife, and there were also fewer stomach abnormalities within the community. Sources of pollution include industrial horticulture, small scale urban farming, sewage affluent from a military base, urban manufacturing, and other urban-based sources, such as car washing points.
In response to these concerns, posters with information on pollution sources were posted along points of the rivers and in front of various farms, industries and firms. There was also a meeting of various users of riparian zones as well as district-level representatives, to discuss immediate solutions to ending the pollution.
Bernard Nderitu Kamwaro
Lecture: "Rivers, Climate Change, and the Future of Humanity", National Press Conference, Exhibition on River Degradation, and River Blessing Ceremony
A lecture was held on, "Rivers, Climate Change, and the Future of Humanity," hosted by the River Ethiope Trust Foundation and Living River Africa. There was also a national press conference, a blessing ceremony, and an exhibition on river degradation.
Irikefe Vote Dafe
President, River Ethiope Trust Foundation
Meeting: "Protecting Our Rivers for People and the Environment"
The Society for Water and Public Health Protection (SWAPHEP) organized a meeting on the pollution of rivers in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Participants discussed ways to stop the frequent oil spills into the region's rivers and how to make the multinational oil companies in operation in the region, such as Exxon Mobil and Shell, respect human rights to water and safe environments. Other sources of chemical pollution of rivers will also be discussed. The event involved participants from affected communities, NGOs, government and the industries.
Actions for Kuilis River, Capetown
The South African Water Caucus Stirring Committee organized events for the protection of local rivers across many provinces for this year's Day of Action for Rivers. In Cape Town, potential events included the gathering of many beneficiaries of the Kius River to discuss how they depend on and use river resources, and to identify pollution sources. Groups included: the Coalition for Environmental Justice, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Department of Water Affairs Regional Offices, communities living next to Kuils River, City of Cape Town Parks Department and the Western Cape Water Caucus.
A Day of Action for Rivers event was held in the Marico River Catchment of North West Province, South Africa. The headwaters of the Marico River are one of the few remaining free-flowing stretches of river in the country (and the only one in the North West Province). This river has become a flagship river of national importance due to its good condition, high biodiversity value and cultural value. The Endangered Wildlife Trust encourages river stewardship by the local communities, and the creation of private nature reserves and protected environments. On March 14th they invited community members, journalists, and other organizations to visit the headwaters of the Marico River.
Project Executant: Healthy Rivers,
Endangered Wildlife Trust
uMngeni River Testing and Source to Sea Trip
In honor of the International Day of Action for Rivers, DUCT (Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust) representatives tested the uMngeni River for e-coli. In addition, preparations were made for the DUCT River Walk in May 2012: a small group of environmentalists passionate about the planet, and particularly water, will walk the 265km length of the uMngeni River, from source to sea. Starting at uMngeni Vlei - the plateau above Dargle where the river rises - and ending at Blue Lagoon where it rushes into the Indian Ocean. Along the way they document and record all impacts on the river. Follow the trip: uMngeni River Walk
In Mpumalanga, GeaSphere, in collaboration with Traditional Healers from BushbuckRidge, held a traditional ceremony of commitment to fight for environmental justice and ecological integrity in the region. Coal, gold and platinum mining is polluting the local river systems; the 'Olifants River' is so severely polluted that even the crocodiles in the Kruger National Park are dying due to ingestion of heavy metals, from mining in the upper catchments, in the food chain. Furthermore, vast monoculture plantations of non-native timber species have been established, utilizing large amounts of water and severely impacting the ecosystems, reducing ecological services people in the region depend on.
Watch video from the action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5wlJdio854.
General Assembly and River Tour for Dam-Affected Communities
Togo Association of Dam Affected Communities (TADACA) held a
general assembly to discuss how to fight the construction of the
proposed Adjarala Dam on the Mono River, in addition to standing up for
community rights to live in the region without suffering the ill-effects
of the dam. The Adjarala Dam has been under
consideration for nearly ten years. Already upstream is the Nangbeto
Dam, which was commissioned in 1987. The Nangbeto Dam created disastrous
impacts for resettled communities after World Bank financing was
approved without a resettlement plan.
TADACA also conducted a tour of the Mono River, a visit to the Adjarala Dam project site, and a workshop for NGOs and associations to have a dialogue about the project.
Program Director for the National Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Dams and Sustainable Development in Togo
Please email us with your plans for this year's International Day of Action For Rivers at email@example.com.