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In Bangladesh, Rohingya women in refugee camps share stories of loss and hopes of recovery. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) UN Women/Allison Joyce.

Water as Weapon: Gender and WASH

The association between WASH services and gendered vulnerability to violence in rural locales and urban slums in developing countries has received the most study, but women everywhere are vulnerable when they lack access to, or are accessing, WASH services. All of which leaves one asking why global leaders focus on the possibility of future water-related conflict rather than respond to the very real crisis conditions in which women and girls exist now?

Kenyan women carry water buckets filled with water on their heads during World Water Day after fetching the water at one of the illegal freshwater points in Mathare slums in Nairobi, Kenya, 22 March 2019. International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of highlighting the importance of freshwater and its management. The theme for the World Water Day In 2019 is 'Leaving no one behind', highlighting whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right. EPA-EFE/Daniel Irungu.

Time and Trauma

Through interviews, surveys and focus group discussions with 258 households in Mathare during 2016 and 2017, I found that women faced huge challenges and trauma in collecting water. Besides the woes of finding a running tap and wasting valuable time waiting in queues, procuring water entails physical hardship that often leads to mental agony that sometimes even threatens the women’s safety.

A student researcher on the Juneau Icefield navigates between crevasses on the Llewellyn Glacier in northern British Columbia, Canada. Lingít Aaní, Tlingit traditional lands is a large but sparsely populated nation in this part of Alaska. Icefields are expanses of glacial ice flowing in multiple directions. Image by Allen Pope, NSIDC (CC BY 2.0).

Future Rivers of the Anthropocene

One meaning of the word Tlingit is “people of the tides.” Immediately, this identification with tides introduces a palpable experience of the aquatic as well as a keen sense of place. It is a universal truth that the human animal has co-evolved over millennia with water or the lack of it, developing nuanced, sophisticated and intimate water knowledges. However, there is little in the anthropological or geographical record that showcases contemporary Indigenous societies upholding customary laws concerning their relationship with water, and more precisely how this dictates their philosophy of place…

Community-managed Traditional Means of Irrigation in the Semi-arid Aravali Landscape

Earthen channels winding like serpents across a hilly landscape are not a common sight everywhere. They appear quite misplaced in a terrain that is highly undulating and rugged, covered with dry deciduous forests and dotted with rocky outcrops. Such a terrain is hardly conducive for agriculture, and irrigation seems unfeasible in villages located in the back of beyond. Yet the sheer will and determination of humans to challenge the impossible and put forth remarkable and ingenious works should never be underestimated.

Northern Minnesota. Image courtesy of Lee Vue.

Where We Stand: The University of Minnesota and Dakhóta Treaty Lands

Despite the centuries-long and ongoing erasure of Indigenous peoples from American history textbooks and classrooms, and the chronic consignment of Indigenous peoples to the past in mainstream American consciousness, it remains a fact that every inch of what is now the United States is land to which one or more Indigenous nations has a deep and abiding connection, and of which, at some point, the U.S. government at least tacitly acknowledged Indigenous ownership.