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A New Low: Scenes from Thailand's Dro...
Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
08 Apr 2016

Many regions of Thailand are struggling with what some have called the worst drought in decades with nearly 30 of Thailand’s 77 provinces declared drought affected according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM). Climate experts have pointed to an El Niño weather pattern along with the effects of climate change as the cause for drier and hotter than usual weather across much of the country leading to canals, reservoirs and dams to reach record lows levels. For the nation’s farmers meanwhile, these higher than normal temperatures combined with last year’s short-lived wet season have forced some to plant more drought-resistant crops, and in some places these too are failing. With the wet season set to begin many affected communities are hoping that significant rainfall will help to ease the situation, however there remains a collective anxiety that a short-lived wet season this year will not provide adequate rainfall to bring relief to farmers and communities most affected.

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Thailand Drought 07
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
08 Apr 2016

Jinda, a farmer in Suphanburi province surveys a field he used to grow beans where rice would usually be planted. Severe drought conditions and limited water flowing through nearby irrigated canals have forced many farmers to be selective and grow more drought resistant crops.

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Thailand Drought 08
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
08 Apr 2016

A farmer inspects his struggling rice crop in central Thailand. Severe drought conditions and limited water flowing through nearby irrigated canals have forced many farmers to grow selectively in order to ration the water they have access to.

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Thailand Drought 09
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
08 Apr 2016

A farmer near Uthong in Suphanburi province watches over a controlled burn in one of her fields. Government officials have condemned this practice citing concerns for air quality made worse by the lack of rain however burning fields after harvest is often practiced by farmers in order to quickly make way for future crops.

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Thailand Drought 10
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
08 Apr 2016

A farmer shows some of his failed bean crop near Uthong in Suphanburi province. Dry conditions in Thailand are forcing farmers to plant more drought resistant crops such as beans instead of rice. For many areas however, even substituted crops are failing due to the severe drought.

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Thailand Drought 02
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
26 Mar 2016

A line of water markers lead down to the water'€™s edge at the Mae Kuang dam in Thailand'€™s Chiang Mai province. The distant tree line provides an indication of past dam levels while significant rainfall is believed to be still months away.

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Thailand Drought 03
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
26 Mar 2016

The view down river from the gates of the Mae Kuang dam in Chiang Mai province. The current water levels at the dam sit below the gates meaning water release is not possible.

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Thailand Drought 06
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
26 Mar 2016

In the city of Chiang Mai, there were little signs of drought. In the lead up last month's popular Songkran (a popular holiday marking the Thai new year by throwing water) some local nightclubs threw 'pre-Songkran' festivities in order to promote the upcoming water festival and attract patrons.
Water guns, balloons and hoses were all used to soak club-goers while farmers and villagers outside the city were being told to ration their water due to extremely low levels in the surrounding dams.

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Thailand Drought 05
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
23 Mar 2016

A farmer feeds his water buffalo near a small waterhole in the Ping River near Chom Thong, Thailand. The river is dry in some places as the region struggles through a serious drought. Many districts in the Chiang Mai region have been declared drought-affected and significant rainfall is not expected for months.

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Thailand Drought 01
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
23 Mar 2016

A young fisherman tries his luck in some of the small waterholes remaining in the Ping River near Chong Thom, Thailand. The river is dry in some places as the region struggles through a serious drought. Many districts in the Chiang Mai region have been declared drought-affected and significant rainfall is not expected for months.

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Thailand Drought 04
Chiang Mai
By [email protected]
22 Mar 2016

Ngam, a fisherman, lands his boat with his catch for the day after passing through choked waterways in Ping River near Chom Thong, in Chiang Mai province. Low water levels mean that many of the larger bodies of water are often difficult to navigate through due to crowding from vegetation. Open areas like this one are becoming more sparse as the dry season continues and the temperature rises.

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Child Labor in Venezuela's Andes
Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
07 Nov 2014

Pueblo Llano is at 800 km from Caracas, Venezuela's capital. This little town inside Los Andes is the main potatoes and carrot producer in the country. However, and despite the successful market with multinational companies like Frito-Lay as one the biggest clients, Pueblo Llano have deep social issues interconnected between them, child labor and high suicide rates.
Their main job is to plant and care for the crops of potatoes and carrots, using several toxic pesticides most of them prohibited by international laws. The landlord provides them with a precarious home, food and a US$ 1 daily salary. At harvest time, they make money depending on how many bags (of 70 Kg each) can be filled and carried down from the steep mountains.
The isolation of the town and the hard market between farmers make this town a place for avarice, most of the children from 9 to 13 years old leave the school and begin to work on the fields dreaming about making tons of money, however, the harvest not always become as they expected and, in some cases, they took their own lives away as the easiest exit.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
07 Nov 2014

A 14 year old boy carry a 70 Kg bag of carrots in the field in Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
07 Nov 2014

A group of children laborers between 12 and 19 years old work on a carrots harvest in Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
07 Nov 2014

Gerson is 17, he came from Colombia at the age of 12 to work in Pueblo Llano. Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
07 Nov 2014

The hands of workers after a day of work on a carrots harvest. Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
07 Nov 2014

A 14 year old girl work on a carrots harvest in Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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child labor in venezuela 01
Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
06 Nov 2014

A group of children laborers poses for a photograph before starting another day of work in the potatoes field in Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
06 Nov 2014

A group of children laborers take cover from the cold rain during work on a potatoes field in Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
06 Nov 2014

A teenager works on a potatoes harvest in Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
06 Nov 2014

Josein, a 13 year old worker, prepares his gloves during a potatoes harvest. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
04 Nov 2014

Cemetery of Pueblo Llano, Venezuela, a town with the highest suicide rate in Venezuela, 18 per 100.000 inhabitants.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
04 Nov 2014

Teenagers mark some words in a wall inside Pueblo Llano's cemetery. In this place women have been raped several times by drunk men. One of the reasons of suicides in Pueblo Llano is related with relationship problems.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
31 Oct 2014

Children play on their break from work with the crops inside the Adela Rojas Public School in Las Agujas zone in Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
31 Oct 2014

Luis is 11 and prefers to help the adults harvest crops than to go to school in Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Pueblo Llano is the main potatoes and carrot producer of Venezuela, most of the children leave the school to start working with the crops at the age of 9.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
31 Oct 2014

It is common to see children playing with their toys around the crops in Los Andes, that is how easy children can obtain pesticides that farmers leave behind in the fields. In Pueblo Llano, pesticides are the main weapon for suicides in agriculture zones around the world.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
31 Oct 2014

Teenager workers drive a motorbike inside the town of Pueblo Llano, Venezuela. Most of the children who leave the school in Pueblo Llano dreams about getting a motorbike or a big truck to get the girls' attention.

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Pueblo Llano, Venezuela
By Manaure Quintero
31 Oct 2014

Several empty packages of pesticides are seen around the fields, schools, houses and neighborhoods in Pueblo Llano without warning. Pesticides are the main weapon of suicide in agriculture zones around the world.

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Aquaponics in Egypt (6 of 14)
Cairo, Egypt
By Leyland Cecco
23 Jun 2013

With aquaponics, the water is filtered from the fish tanks to the plant roots and back. By eliminating soil, efficiency of space allows for better cultivation. Ziad Abou El Nasr and his partner plan to introduce shrimp to the water below the plant roots in order to further maximize the efficiency of the system.

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Aquaponics in Egypt (5 of 14)
Cairo, Egypt
By Leyland Cecco
23 Jun 2013

While the idea of aquaponics is relatively new, a large appeal is that the cost of start up is relatively inexpensive, and materials are commonly found within the city. Given the ease of setup, proponents of the system hope there will be widespread adoption in the near future.

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Aquaponics in Egypt (4 of 14)
Cairo, Egypt
By Leyland Cecco
23 Jun 2013

The initial yield of lettuce and other vegetables has been small, given the size of the farm. However, the two young farmers are already supplying two local restaurants and a small farmer's market held each Saturday in Cairo's upscale Zamalek.

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Aquaponics in Egypt (3 of 14)
Cairo, Egypt
By Leyland Cecco
23 Jun 2013

A steady hum of generators filtering the water for the many fish tanks envelops a worker feeding the fish. The farm is producing Nile tilapia roughly 500 grams in weight, with plans to grow them larger in the near future.

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Spills & Curses
Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Nigeria
By U.S. Editor
15 Jun 2013

The Ikarama community of the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, Nigeria struggles to survive with crude oil spills from Royal Dutch Shell, ruining their crops and natural spaces.

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CLIMBING NIPPLE'S TOP
Mt Napuluk, Philippines
By U.S. Editor
31 Jan 2013

Wild and enchanting beauty awaits every mountaineer who will trek the off-beaten track of Mt. Napulak, Iloilo's highest peak with 1,200 feet above sea level.

From Iloilo City, around eighty mountaineers around the Philippines travelled two hours to Igbaras, Iloilo the jump-off area to climb one of the hardest trail in Panay Islands to participate the annual climb to the unique peak of Napulak. This climb is organized yearly before the famous Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.

The assault to Mt. Napulak starts with trekking the scenic rice fields and residential areas. Different agricultural crops also are seen along the way forming a magnificent view of terraces. Farm animals such as pigs and chickens are seen outside households.

After passing the residential area, the ascend became more difficult yet the scenery is relaxing. Sunflowers in bloom and the negative ions of the forested area soothes the eye and tired muscles of every wanderers ascending gradually at the treacherous and off-beaten track. And seing one of the largest parasitic flower called rafflesia are also seen along the trail of the majestic forest of Napulak. Rafflesia are only founf in Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines.

After passing the forested area, the grasslands of the slopes of Mt. Napulak is another tiring but breathtaking scenery. Gradual assault and traversing the tall grasses and steep trail is another challenge but the stunning view of clouds covering each mountain is magical.

Reaching the summit is the most intriguing part of the climb, a huge rock formation which looks like a nipple of a woman's breast from a far is one of the most exciting part of the climb where every mountaineers are required to rock climb in order for them to say that they conquered the 'nipple's top'.

Yes, Napulak in local dialect means 'nipple's top'!

The summit gives a 360 degrees view of Panay Islands and other mountains of the province.

The climb is organized by mountaineering groups The Friends of the Higher Grounds and Talahib Eco-Trekkers which aims to battle climate change.