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January 26, 2018

Cape Town is tightening water restrictions to deal with severe drought

Residents of Cape Town are bracing themselves for Day Zero. Unfortunately this isn’t the plot of some sci-fi dystopian thriller. It is in fact the day, April 12 to be exact, when city officials will shut off all the taps – unless water consumption drops.

To avoid such a predicament, South Africa’s second largest city is putting its residents on water rations. Starting February 1, each person will be limited to 13 gallons of water per day. To put this into perspective, a 90-second shower uses about 4 gallons of water. So in the words of Premier Helen Zille, head of the Western Cape province, “No one should be showering more than twice a week at this stage.”

Despite the inconvenience, residents would do well to heed the warnings. Anyone who exceeds the daily quota will face heavy fines – not to mention they would exacerbate the damage done by severe drought and years of low rainfall. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa summed it up: “Climate change is a reality.”

Rohingya refugees refuse to return to Myanmar without rights

They’re putting their foot down. Many Rohingya refugees are saying they won’t return to their homes in Myanmar unless they are guaranteed safety and reparations. Their protest comes as the Bangladeshi plans to move forward with its repatriation deal with Myanmar.

Meanwhile U.S. Senators have put forward a resolution to condemn “the violence and displacement inflicted” upon the Rohingya and to call for the voluntary and safe return of the refugees.

ActionAid Bangladesh is continuing its response in Rohingya refugee camps, including the provision of safe spaces for women and girls to heal from trauma and learn new skills.

Honduran women march for rights, protest political corruption

The struggle continues. Thousands of Honduran women and their supporters took to the streets on Thursday to celebrate their wins over the past century, including the rights to vote and to participate in political activity. They also marched to protest increasing violence against women and the government’s inaction. This year they were also joined by a demonstration against electoral fraud.