quarta-feira, 29 de setembro de 2010
About 80% of the world's population lives in areas where the fresh water supply is not secure, according to a new global analysis.
Researchers compiled a composite index of "water threats" that includes issues such as scarcity and pollution.
The most severe threat category encompasses 3.4 billion people.
Writing in the journal Nature, they say that in western countries, conserving water for people through reservoirs and dams works for people, but not nature.
They urge developing countries not to follow the same path.
Instead, they say governments should to invest in water management strategies that combine infrastructure with "natural" options such as safeguarding watersheds, wetlands and flood plains.
The analysis is a global snapshot, and the research team suggests more people are likely to encounter more severe stress on their water supply in the coming decades, as the climate changes and the human population continues to grow.
They have taken data on a variety of different threats, used models of threats where data is scarce, and used expert assessment to combine the various individual threats into a composite index.
The result is a map that plots the composite threat to human water security and to biodiversity in squares 50km by 50km (30 miles by 30 miles) across the world.
Up to 40,000 Nigerian girls are being forced to work as prostitutes in Mali "slave camps", Nigerian officials say.
The girls have often been promised jobs in Europe but ended up in brothels in the capital or mining towns, said the government's anti-trafficking agency.
The brothels are run by older Nigerian women who prevent them from leaving and take all their earnings.
The agency said it was working with Malian police to free the girls and help them return to Nigeria.
Nigeria's National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (Naptip) said officials visited Mali this month to follow up "horrendous reports" from victims, aid workers and clergy in Mali.
They found hundreds of brothels, each housing up to 200 girls, run by Nigerian "madams" who force them to work against their will and take their earnings.
Naptip estimates that there are between 20,000 and 40,000 Nigerian women and girls living in such conditions.
"The girls are held in bondage for the purposes of forced sexual exploitation and servitude or slavery-like practices," Naptip's Executive Secretary Simon Egede told a news conference in Abuja.
"The madams control their freedom of movement, where they work, when they work and what they receive," he said.