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Groundwater Network Proposed to Combat Drought in Horn of Africa

The Horn of Africa, recently hit by its worst drought in 50 years, sees a potential solution in a strategic network of deep groundwater bores, as suggested by a research paper. The Groundwater Access Facility, launched by Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, South Sudan, Uganda, and three UN agencies, aims to extract millions of cubic kilometers of deep groundwater. Studies suggest deep groundwater is available in drought hotspots and is more climate-resilient than surface water, and this initiative could provide crucial water supplies during droughts. The facility will foster cross-border collaboration on groundwater mapping, renewable energy use, and climate finance. However, to ensure the initiative’s success, it is vital to include local communities in planning and management of the boreholes, among other things. Despite the promises of this initiative, there are potential drawbacks. For instance, there is no predicting how it will affect nomadic herders, among other things.