Environment 39

Report: International mobilization against pollution in Gabes

For its stopover in Tunisia, the Ibn Battuta Odyssey of Alternatives, a mobilization across the Mediterranean which culminates at the COP22 in Marrakech, set up camp in Gabes, although the boats had docked in Bizerte. Three days of exchanges and debates concerning an environmentally- and socially-destructive economic model and potential alternatives drew attention to the deplorable environmental situation in Gabes, and were marked by heightened tension following the death of a STEG worker who was asphyxiated by the fumes of the industrial zone. Report.

Building another South in Oued El Khil: Aesthetics of Resistance

Oued El Khil, a few kilometers from Medenine, is situated on the chain of mountains which cross the Tunisian southern cities of Beni Khedach, Chenini, Matmata and Beni Zelten. The small village defies the vastness of the desert and exclusion from the surrounding modern urban ugliness that has polluted and destroyed pearls such as the thirty-three Ksurs of Medenine, bombarded in the early sixties, and the oasis of Gabes, contaminated since the seventies by the chemical industry.

Tunisia’s Parched North

The highlands of Tunisia’s north-west hold the national record for rainfall. And yet the region’s scarcity of potable water is a nightmare for inhabitants. In the governorate of Béja, the National Water Distribution Utility (SONEDE) system stops at the borders of M’chargua, Zaga, Toghzaz, Marja Zweraa and Oulèja. The idyllic scenery–abundant flora, lakes and rivers that stretch as far as the eye can see—is in sharp contrast with the emaciated faces of perpetually thirsty villagers. Nawaat visited the region to investigate one of the most absurd injustices of independent Tunisia.

Meknassi : chronicle of a disaster foretold

Built in 2012, the Meknassi waste water treatment plant in Sidi Bouzid has yet to commence operations, stalled by a disagreement concerning the trajectory of treated waste water. The proposal by the National Sanitation Bureau (ONAS) to transfer treated waste water into Oued Elben is contested by locals, who fear for the future of the ecosystem in a valley known for its rich biodiversity.

Investigation into the landfill at Borj Chakir: Causes and effects of poor waste management

Eight kilometers south of Tunis is Borj Chakir, a town that has become infamous for a landfill that has had damaging effects on the surrounding environment and quality of life of locals. Over the years, a population of 50,000 -including the residents of El Attar/Borj Chakir, Jayara, and Sidi Hassine- has suffered from compromised health and sanitation as a consequence of the waste collection site that has contaminated air, water, and soil. Report on the landfill and stakeholders, the region and inhabitants of Borj Chakir.

Water Scarcity Initiative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – to help countries in the region fight hunger and poverty and improve agricultural sustainability

The article presents the situation in Kasserine, but in fact the water problem and challenges are common in most of the countries in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region. Water scarcity is one of the most urgent issues and binding constraints for food security and agricultural development in these countries. Let us look at some striking numbers published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):

A Story of Water in Kairouan

A Google Web search on «l’eau + Kairouan» produces a disconcerting variety of reports on the magnificent Aghlabid basins, the conqueror Okba’s recovery of a lost golden cup («When picking the cup up, water sprang from the ground») and the stoppage of running water to the Haffouz delegation of Kairouan, so that one is left confusedly marveling at the graceful aesthetic and functional design of the region’s ancient water source and wondering how residents of such parched lands have survived the summer months without the potable running water to which they are accustomed.

Regulatory Reform and Financial Aid – Germany on Growing Tunisia’s Renewable Energy Sector

Two recent reports—Bardolet’s May 2014 overview for Dii and Cessat’s June 2014 analysis for GIZ—evaluate the present framework that governs renewable energies in Tunisia and recommend reforms conducive to opening the sector to foreign investment and collaboration. Both studies conclude that current regulatory measures pertaining to—particularly STEG’s—energy management are rigid, restrictive, exclusive and elusive, and that the imminent incorporation of provisions for «business models» as Bardolet discusses, or «foreign private operators» in the words of Cessat, of renewable energy projects is advisable.

Djerba Desalination Plant Contract: Seawater Can be Purified, But Can Tunisia’s Water Management?

On the island of Djerba–where, «close to hotels, under the beautiful palms, on the beaches and surrounding the white houses, putrid piles of garbage pollute the air, the water, the land, and the lives of residents»–the local population may soon benefit from the construction of a new desalination plant that promises abundant, pure, sea-sourced desalinated drinking water.

A ‘Win-Win’ Investment – OMV and ETAP Gazoduc-Nawara Project

In light of the implication of the Tunisian Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Mines and the Tunisian National Oil Company in the mismanagement of natural resources, the notorious association of oil companies worldwide for politicization and economic corruption, and the immensity of intended exploration and production activities in the south of the country, the Gazoduc-Nawara project demands public attention.

Citizens Expand on the Ministry of Tourism’s Social Media Campaign…through SelfiePoubella

The aptness of the SelfiePoubella campaign is largely in the irony of its approach, in its twisting of the conventionally individualistic focus of the Selfie in general and especially in the context of the Minister of Tourism’s fetish for self-portraits that have propagated and diffused across the media landscape with as much efficiency as the garbage that has cluttered the Tunisian landscape.

Five NGO’s are denouncing the serious Fauna and Flora breaches in the Tunisian Sahara

In a complaining letter, dating of April 16th 2013, (see below), addressed to the General Director of forests for the regional office for agricultural development in Kebili. Five local NGO’s in Douz-one of them is “Tunisie Ecologie”, lead by Abdel Majid Dabbar-denounce the the serious fauna and flora breaches in the Tunisian Sahara and that by several illegal practices, including poaching of protected species by a definite group coming from Gulf countries.