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India sends aid to cyclone hit Fiji

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Fiji
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New Delhi: India rushed financial and material aid to Fiji that has suffered the biggest cyclone in recorded history last weekend, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Tropical Cyclone Winston, a category 5 cyclone, hit the Pacific Ocean island nation on February 20, claiming 44 lives.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wrote to her Fijian counterpart Ratu Inoke Kubuabola to express her condolences, ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said adding that India had extended 1 million dollars as immediate assistance.

“In addition, today (Thursday) a C-17 Globemaster aircraft has left for Fiji with 45 tonnes of relief material, which includes food products such as noodles, biscuits, milk powder, rice pulses, flour and salt, as well as 5.43 tonnes of medicines and 300 tents and kitchen sets,” Swarup said at a media briefing here.

People of Indian origin account for 44 percent of Fiji’s population. Most are descendants of Indians who went in the 18th and 19th centuries to work as indentured labour in sugar cane plantations in the island nation.

The help is as promised by the Indian government last week. Fiji which has been left devastated because of this cyclone is in the need of help. (IANS)

Read more here: www.newsgram.com/india-pledges-us1million-assistance-to-cyclone-hit-fiji/

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)