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Water Scarcity Not the Only Factor Driving Millions of People from Their Homes Each Year

In most cases, other economic and social problems like conflict, corruption or a lack of jobs contribute to the decision to leave

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Indian residents queue with plastic containers to get drinking water from a tanker in the outskirts of Chennai, May 29, 2019. VOA

Water scarcity is one factor driving millions of people from their homes each year but is often not the only reason why they move, researchers told an international conference on Tuesday.

In most cases, other economic and social problems like conflict, corruption or a lack of jobs contribute to the decision to leave, they said.

They warned against over-simplifying the links between water and migration, and said many of those who do move – at least partly because of water-related pressures such as floods, droughts and pollution – may not travel far.

“International migration is very expensive and very risky and it lies beyond the reach of many of the poorest people who are most vulnerable to water security and drought,” said Guy Jobbins of the London-based Overseas Development Institute.

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FILE – Newly-arrived women who fled drought queue to receive food distributed by local volunteers at a camp for displaced persons in the Daynile neighborhood on the outskirts of the capital Mogadishu, in Somalia, May 18, 2019. VOA

Those who suffer water-related shocks to their livelihoods – losing animals or crops – “are less likely to have the funds to start again in South Africa or France”, he told an audience at World Water Week in Stockholm.

Conversely, there was some evidence to suggest that people who have better access to secure, affordable water are more likely to have enough financial resources to migrate, he added.

Although much is made of international migration, most movement related to water is inside countries, often from one rural place to another, said Sasha Koo-Oshima, deputy director of land and water at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Three out of four of the world’s poor live in rural areas and rely heavily on agricultural production, with food insecurity, water contamination and drought forcing people from their homes – especially the young, she added.

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Efforts should be stepped up to prevent water scarcity and make it profitable for young people to stay on rural land, she said.

But if people do leave, “it is not necessarily a negative phenomenon”, as humans have always moved in search of a better life, she added.

Refugee scapegoats

Researchers also called for a more sophisticated analysis of how mass migration impacts on water supplies.

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Water scarcity is one factor driving millions of people from their homes each year but is often not the only reason why they move, researchers told an international conference. Pixabay

In Jordan – the world’s second most water-scarce country, according to Hussam Hussein, a Middle East water researcher at Germany’s University of Kassel – a large influx of refugees from Syria, after civil war broke out there in 2011, led to tensions with their host communities, especially in cities.

Jordan hosts about 750,000 Syrians, the vast majority in urban areas, according to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR). But contrary to public discourse, their presence is not the main cause of the country’s water shortages, said Hussein.

“When we look at the numbers, the impact of refugees is not as important as unsustainable use (of water) in the agricultural sector,” he said.

Mismanagement of water resources, leaks, illegal wells and intensive farming made up the majority of water losses in parched Jordan, he added.

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In war-torn Syria, water scarcity and climate-related events such as drought had been a “trigger” for the conflict but not a primary cause, said Fatine Ezbakhe of the Mediterranean Youth for Water Network.

Instead a lack of water amplified political instability and poverty that fueled migration and unrest, she added.

Now improvements to water supplies could be used to persuade people to return home, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“If we actually invest in water, we could… try to make people go back and restart (in) the rural areas they left in the first place,” she said. (VOA)

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Colours That Work the Best For Your Home

Enrich your home with the right hue

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It is necessary to choose the right hue and colours for your home. Pixabay

Colours can evoke a multiplicity of emotions in you — from calm to joy, and even sadness — making it necessary for you to pick the right colour for your home.

Minal Srivastava, Shalimar Paints suggests the colours that work the best for different rooms in your home.

1. Living room

The living room is any home’s heart. Paint it grey, as this colour can make your space look spacious and sophisticated. Another colour in the same league is beige. A shade of beige on the living room walls never fails to set the mood while adding a minimalistic yet classy effect.

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The living room is any home’s heart. Pixabay

Those who find neutrals boring, can opt for green to give the room a fresh look. For your living rooms to appear clean and organised, blue is the go-to colour. If you want to make your living area look unique, apply black as it makes the other elements in the room stand out against the darker background.

2. Bedroom

The bedroom is the most special area of any house. To ensure that it remains cool and cosy, one can choose from different shades of green. Being a natural colour, it perfectly brings in the feeling of serenity and content.

For the stressful souls out there, lavender comes to rescue as it infuses a calming effect in the bedroom. Hues of grey do the same magic to the room.

Blue is another colour that offers a sense of relaxation. While pale blue is known for soothing minds, deep blue ensures the incoming of wisdom and utmost calmness into the soul.

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To keep the kitchen in your home warm and welcoming, pick colours such as white, grey, blue, red, yellow and green. Pixabay

3. Kids’ rooms

Having red as the backdrop in kids’ rooms can escalate their energy levels and helps them focus on various activities, letting their brains run fast. A softer shade of orange, since it’s bright and cheerful, can enhance the social skills of children.

Traditionally, pink that was considered to be a go-to girls rooms’ colour, is now believed to benefit both sexes by nurturing the sense of care and empathy in them, thus making it a great colour for your child’s bedroom.

From a learning perspective, choose any shade of green as it brings freshness and enhances comprehension ability. Accent their rooms with purple, which can pass on positive effects on budding minds and inspire thoughtfulness and spirituality.

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4. Kitchen

To keep the kitchen warm and welcoming, pick colours such as white, grey, blue, red, yellow and green. Although each of these colours can add a different kind of uniqueness to the area, soothing colours like blue and warmer colours like red have always been the top preference. While lighter blues can add ethereal beauty of beach and sky to the kitchen as well as to the mind of cook, red is believed to stimulate peoples’ appetite. (IANS)