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I hope this works out for Darfur...

 
 
Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 05:04 pm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6904318.stm

see article for photo and maps

Water find 'may end Darfur war'

A huge underground lake has been found in Sudan's Darfur region, scientists say, which they believe could help end the conflict in the arid region.


Some 1,000 wells will be drilled in the region, with the agreement of Sudan's government, the Boston University researchers say.

Analysts say competition for resources between Darfur's Arab nomads and black African farmers is behind the conflict.

More than 200,000 Darfuris have died and 2m fled their homes since 2003.

"Much of the unrest in Darfur and the misery is due to water shortages," said geologist Farouk El-Baz, director of the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing, according to the AP news agency.

"Access to fresh water is essential for refugee survival, will help the peace process, and provides the necessary resources for the much needed economic development in Darfur," he said.

'Significant'

The team used radar data to find the ancient lake, which was 30,750 km2 - the size of Lake Erie in North America - the 10th largest lake in the world.

A similar discovery was made in Sudan's neighbour Egypt, where wells have been used to irrigate 150,000 acres of farmland, the researchers say.

The discovery is "very significant", Hafiz Muhamad from the lobby group Justice Africa told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

"The root cause of the conflict is resources - drought and desertification in North Darfur."

He says this led the Arab nomads to move into South Darfur, where they came into conflict with black African farmers.

He also said that it has long been known there was water in the area but the government had not paid for it to be exploited.

French researcher Alain Gachet has also been using satellite images to look for new water resources in Darfur.

Last month, the UN Environmental Programme (Unep) said there was little prospect of peace in Darfur unless the issues of environmental destruction were addressed.

It said deserts had increased by an average of 100 km in the last 40 years, while almost 12% of forest cover had been lost in 15 years.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said climate change was partly to blame for the conflict in Darfur in an editorial for US newspaper The Washington Post in June.
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Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 05:08 pm
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Very Happy

GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!

Great story.
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Amigo
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 06:38 pm
What the hell??? Nobody else thinks this is worth a comment?

Water for everyone!!Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Get drillin boys!!!!!!!!
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 06:41 pm
Wellllllllllll, complications 'tend to ensue', but I'm hopeful, very hopeful.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 06:43 pm
sigh. i won't hold my breath though. too many international business interests involved in this war.
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Amigo
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 06:49 pm
That sucks
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 06:50 pm
Eeyep.
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Amigo
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 07:06 pm
Ah the hell with it. Give me about 30 or fifty of those Dufar kids. I'll teach them construction.

I'll load them up in the van and well be off. Water for everybody.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 07:10 pm
I think it's a bit too late for me to produce 30 to 50 kids. 3 to 5 maybe. Sorry.
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Diane
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 07:28 pm
Oh how I hope this will ease the lives of so many millions in Sudan. It is one of the most ignored regions, at least by the US, and the need is stupendous.

Hoping......
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Amigo
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 07:29 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
I think it's a bit too late for me to produce 30 to 50 kids. 3 to 5 maybe. Sorry.
Shocked Hold that thought, I'm packing right now.
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littlek
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 09:03 pm
bookmarking
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 09:28 pm
Amigo wrote:
dagmaraka wrote:
I think it's a bit too late for me to produce 30 to 50 kids. 3 to 5 maybe. Sorry.
Shocked Hold that thought, I'm packing right now.


:wink: i just washed my bed sheets, too!

... back on the subject: Christian Science Monitor is about to publish a big story on how water scarcity fuels the conflict, along with all sorts of scenarios which this find could render totally useless and irrelevant. I told my friend who works there of this today and she was, to put it mildly, alarmed. Ha. They might still catch it in time, in which case they'll have a2k to thank!
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 09:58 pm
This:
Quote:
He also said that it has long been known there was water in the area but the government had not paid for it to be exploited.

from that same BBC article makes me suspicious. If it was known for a long time, it must have not only been known to the Sudanese government, but to international experts as well. Why is it making news now? Why not 4 years ago? I don't get the timing. I want to know what is REALLY going on.
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jul, 2007 11:32 pm
Dag, if you do find out, let us know. Sometimes between the scenes knowledge is completely disillusioning.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2007 12:26 am
Well, I, too hope it will bring some relief to the people. But I'm skeptical. As usual, it seems to be a business deal. Snce the President is also boasting about this being a peace effort I am even more skeptical. Peace treaties and 'peace efforts' are usually their tactics for greasing their pockets and buying more time. They only need $10 million for ten wells (there is to be thousand wells). Previous article (BBC) says the government knew about it. But they didn't care until money got involved.

http://www.afrol.com/articles/25892

Quote:
Also President al-Bashir has said the shortage of water resources was the "core" of the problem in Darfur. "This is a humanitarian effort in the first place, and we invite everyone to help us achieve the objective of providing water to the people that need it most. Stabilising this important region of our country is a noble cause, which we fully stand behind," said the Sudanese President.


...does anyone believe him? I don't. Government that accompanies Janjaweed raids with air attacks against its own population can talk about peace all they want. Something's fishy in this deal.

....I still hope that at least SOME of the benefits will trickle down to people of Darfur. Question is when (years?) and how much of it.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2007 10:47 am
I'd like to reiterate this:

Quote:
Julie Flint, co-author of Darfur: The Short History of a Long War, says attempts to paint the conflict as simply resource-based "whitewashes the Sudan government". The "full-fledged tragedy", starting in 2003, was caused by the government's response to the rebellion, not by resource conflict, she said.

Geoffrey Dabelko, director of the Woodrow Wilson Centre, said: "The challenge is to avoid over-simplistic or deterministic formulations that equate climate change inexorably with genocide or terrorism."

source: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/article2782508.ece

I couldn't agree more. The lake, while wonderful news, is perfect for the Sudanese government. And we'll let them off the hook. Again. And again. No amount of water is going to stop this conflict. We just may feel better about ourselves and Darfur will slide into darkness of our consciousness.

To every conflict resolution, there are three competing elements at play: Peace, Justice, and Truth. Peace alone will not result in long lasting stable and democratic conditions. I am worried that this deal is going to completely sweep justice and truth under the rug... There will be no resolution for the people of Darfur if these elements are wilfully ignored by the international players.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2007 10:58 am
Better to find water than more energy resources to fight over. Of course, they can still fight over water, but hopefully there will be enough for everyone.
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FreeDuck
 
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Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2007 11:00 am
Oh, just read dag's last post. Good point.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2007 11:00 am
Not sure, Freeduck. When will it be? In five years? Who will have access? Who's gonna pay for it? Who's not gonna get in on the deal and be pissed off?

I doubt people will see ANY benefits from this anytime soon.
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