Thursday, 8 September 2011

Newswatch - September 2011

Newswatch is a regular round up of some of the key stories relating to the geosciences and international development. This month we look at typhoon triggered landslides, the landslides in Bulambuli (Uganda), World Water Week and the crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Typhoon Triggered Landslides 
Dave Petley's Landslide Blog - hosted by the AGU - has some remarkable pictures of a landslide in Taiwan, triggered by typhoon Namadol, with one comment suggesting the landslide had a runout of 2km. It is well worth having a look at the rest of his site also - with reports from typhoon triggered landslides in Japan also.

Mt Elgon Slopes, Uganda
Uganda Landslides
Following last month's landslide in the Bulambuli area of Uganda, there have been a few reports giving updates about the situation there. One report suggests that food aid has only just reached the 800+ households affected, due to many roads being severely affected by the heavy rains. The Uganda Red Cross has managed to distribute medicine, clothes, blankets, water purifiers, mosquito nets, jerrycans and saucepans - however the need for food has been desperate as many crops were buried by the landslide. Flooding in the area, following heavy rains, has affected a wider area with widespread flooding of pit latrines - putting people at risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera.

World Water Week
Following last week's post about World Water Week here are another couple of blogs written by those who were there. The first is on the End Water Poverty blog and the second, looking at the role of the private sector, is on the Tearfund blog

Horn of Africa Drought & Famine
It was welcome to see the terrible situation in the Horn of Africa raised in Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, and it is to be hoped that the political will to continue addressing this crisis is maintained. For the latest information on the situation, The Guardian publish online a weekly blog outlining the funds required and received, and further information.