water tap Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

Ciência e política de desenvolvimento internacional

WASHINGTON, DC – À primeira vista, a povoação localizada no sopé das montanhas Tian Shan parece igual a tantas outras circundantes. Os homens ficam perto do canal e usam chapéus tradicionais kalpak, as crianças brincam no rio e as mulheres cozem naan, o pão redondo e granuloso típico do Quirguistão. Mas ao contrário de outras comunidades situadas ao longo do rio Aspara, esta povoação está a enfrentar os desafios relacionados com a segurança da água, em vez de ignorá-los.

Apoiado por um programa de desenvolvimento internacional baseado na ciência, o conselho de gestão da água local recém-criado, reúne-se agora com um conselho similar na fronteira internacional, no Cazaquistão. Juntos, os conselhos resolveram um problema com décadas de anos que afetou a capacidade de alimentar as crianças, ameaçou a segurança regional e impediu a aplicação de um Tratado de 1948 que determinava quanta água cada aldeia poderia usar para o cultivo de plantações.

Aplicando soluções locais para desafios de desenvolvimento, estes conselhos de gestão de água da República do Quirguistão construíram canais de desvio e instalaram um medidor simples para monitorizar a quantidade de água utilizada por cada aldeia. Construídos a partir de material disponível nas aldeias, os novos canais estão conectados ao medidor e aos computadores, permitindo que os dados de fluxo de água em tempo real sejam partilhados em cada aldeia. Embora a ajuda ao desenvolvimento tenha terminado, estes gestores internacionais de água estão agora a atenuar o impacto do aumento do fluxo de água do derretimento glacial, enquanto intensificam a procura da agricultura regional co-projetando previsões de uso da água e plantando culturas resistentes à seca.

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