Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Have the climate wars begun?

The whole region of Espinar, in Peru, is outraged about the proposed irrigation scheme that will deprive them of water

The Guardian

Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru.
Trains to the ancient citadel have been suspended as protesters
oppose an irrigation scheme in the region. Photograph: EPA
The plan was to go from the Four Lakes district in Peru's Cusco province up to the communities in the Espinar region, another three hours and 600m up the Andes mountainsides into the high pastures. These villages are more than 4,300m high (14,000ft), some of the remotest and highest inhabited in the world.

But we nearly didn't get there because the city of Yauri, where we were to stay, was in lockdown over water. The following day, we were told, there would be a total strike. No one would be able to get in or out.

We pass road blocks set up by the strikers and reach the city late at night. The next morning we meet the strike leader Nestor Cuti. This is no ordinary dispute over water, he says. The people of Espinar know well that climate change is already drying up their rivers and is likely to lead to desertification of the whole region. As it is, Yauri only gets around two hours of water a day. In 20 years time, if trends go on, there will be nothing.

Read more HERE.

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