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How Two Environmentalists Are Bypassing Government to Fight for Water

Every year, the Goldman Environmental Prize honors six grassroots environmentalists. This year, two have been working for access to clean water.


Every year, the Goldman Environmental Prize, known as an honor for environmentalists on par with the Nobel or the Pulitzer, picks six grassroots leaders from around the world to celebrate and award for their work. This year’s recipients are fighting against a nickel mine, offshore oil and gas drilling, a highway that would bisect a local forest, and agrochemical spraying. And two are fighting for water. In Kenya, Ikal Angelei is battling a massive dam that would deprive the community in her arid region of water and of their livelihoods. In China, Ma Jun working to expose information about water pollution that has sickened people across the country.

Angelei comes from Kenya, in the region of the Lake Turkana Basin, where people depend on the lake to provide drinking water and to support fishing and farming. The Gibe 3 Dam would drop the water level in the lake by as much as 33 feet in the first five years after the dam goes into operation.

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