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One million Ethiopians face water shortage

by Staff Writers
Addis Ababa (AFP) March 5, 2008
More than one million people in eastern Ethiopia's drought-hit Somali region face critical water shortages, the United Nations said Wednesday.

"A joint multi-sectoral Drought Emergency Response Plan.... has been released by the regional government. The plan indicates that more than one million people are currently facing critical water shortage," the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said in a statement.

"The response plan, which focuses on life-saving interventions in health and nutrition, water and sanitation, and livestock and agriculture, aims to mitigate the impacts of drought due to poor consecutive seasonal performance in 2007 coupled with the current dry season," the statement added.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the regional authorities were seeking over three million dollars (1.9 million euros) to address emergency requirements for a period of six months.

The mineral-rich region, also known as the Ogaden, has also been wracked by a separatist rebellion, against which government troops have launched a fierce crackdown.

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Philippines' largest lake under threat: study
Manila (AFP) March 4, 2008
Pollution, slums and an invasion of foreign fish species are threatening the Philippines' largest lake, one of the nation's major fish farming regions, according to a study published Tuesday.

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