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Environment

Around the world, the environment is increasingly under threat from industrial pollution, business development of the wilderness and climate change. Pulitzer Center stories tagged with “Environment” feature reporting that covers climate change, deforestation, biodiversity, pollution, and other factors that impact the health of the world around us. Use the Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder to find and create lesson plans on the environment.

 

Kenya: Disappearing Lake

Chala Ahmed had a dream. He wanted to build a waterfront home for his family on the shores of Lake Haramaya, in eastern Ethiopia. Now, that's impossible. The lake has dried up. Lakes around the world are shrinking. Some blame climate change. Others believe poor water mismanagement is the root of the problem. Whatever the cause, the shrinking water supply is affecting communities across the globe. Jessica Partnow reports from Ethiopia.

In Focus: Water Wars

World Water Day on March 22 reminds us of the 1 billion people on Earth who lack easy access to the water most of us take for granted. Global climate change is making that struggle worse, as we see in this report from the rugged region of southern Ethiopia, where drought is drying up wells, threatening an ancient way of life and fueling conflict.

If you can not access the video on YouTube, you can download a wmv file.

Credits:
Special thanks to Salihu Sultan and the Ethiopian Red Cross

A Treacherous Trek to the Crater's Edge

"Just breathe," I comforted myself as I shuffled slowly through the dusty gravel. "One breath with each step," I repeated raggedly as 50 pounds of brackish water sloshed rhythmically against the sides of the muddy yellow jerrycan strapped to my back.

Sweat rolled down my hairline, dropped from my forehead and splashed in a shape like raindrops on the gray slate beneath me. To keep from slipping, I tried to follow exactly in the footsteps of the cracked plastic sandals in front of me.

Museveni's Dams a Threat to Lake Victoria

As the first rays of sunlight streak into Lake Victoria, Idi Otwoma and his two sons leave their village, pick up their nets and board their old wooden boat for the port of Kisumu.

The sales from his catch put bread on the table for his family of two wives, eight children and nine grandchildren.

But in the last few years, the seasoned fisherman has barely caught enough fish to feed his family. The catch is dwindling and this is becoming a tall order for Idi and his sons.

Kenya's Elephant Problem

Kenyan farmers are troubled by their newest neighbors — elephants. A growing elephant population is destroying crops and creating violent confrontations. Jessica Partnow reports on a plan to reign in the pachyderms.

The Soybean Wars: A Radio Documentary

Soybeans, rows and rows of soybeans all around. In western Paraguay the fields that were once thick rain forests are now soybean plantations. They stretch far into the distance swaying hypnotically back and forth in the wind. This ocean of soy, though, is dotted with small islands — houses, actually, that belong to the subsistence campensinos who once eked out a living farming an array of crops like sugar, cotton, wheat, and maize.

Drought Spurs Resource Wars

On a warm January afternoon in southern Ethiopia, thousands of ill-tempered livestock stand in groups with the pastoralists who have guided them for dozens of miles to drink. The animals dot an expansive field of Acacia trees, severed bits and pieces of dead grass and dust.

Earlier in the day thousands of young goats, sheep and calves took turns to have their fill of water. And the show will not end with the cattle; camels are still waiting in line. For being the best able to resist drought, now they will be last.

Kenya and Ethiopia: The Most Dangerous Men in Kenya

The first thing I thought of when I saw the scorched whitewash, shattered windows and collapsing skeletons of businesses in Kisumu's downtown was my father's furniture store in Seattle.

Poking through the remains of doctors' offices, electronics shops and grocery stores — plastic vials and discarded packaging cracking and rustling beneath my sneakers — I imagined the nights of heartbreak the owners of these business lived through in the anarchic weeks following Kenya's most recent elections.

Ethiopia: Running on Hope

Ethiopia has been a dominant force in long distance running for decades. Despite a shortage of training infrastructure, athletes have excelled thanks to hard work, the high altitudes in their home country and the purity of the ancient sport, where whoever runs the farthest and the fastest, wins. Alex Stonehill's photo slideshow offers a taste of training in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Off the Record: World Water Crisis

Water is the new oil.

I’ve spent the last four months reporting stories on water from Ethiopia and Kenya, two countries at the forefront of the world’s coming water crisis. And while Western politicians and consumers fret over the declining economy and increasing oil prices, the news from East Africa is that with a growing majority of the world living on less than a dollar a day, the liquid that fuels bodies is becoming even more contentious than the liquid that fuels cars.