DAG ALLAL, TIMBUKTU, MALI, SEPTEMBER 2009: Tuareg men plant grass in the banks of the Niger River to grow a forage crop for their animals and for sale in the markets in the sedentary Tuareg village of Dag Allal in Mali on 11 September 2009. Unusual amongst Tuareg for their sedentary, non-nomadic existence, these Tuaregs remain in place all year and care for their animals by utilising agricultural techniques. They have received help from the Millenium Village Project which aims to empower local communities through education. They grow rice and forage grass in the nearby Niger river, using a canal and small pump to divert water into ricepaddies. Their leader, El Hadg Agali Ag Mohammoud, 70, explains that reasons of drought, rebellion, identity issues and a lack of union amongst the Tuareg caused this group to choose to remain in one place, "We live here all year, we take care of our animals by growing the grass that they wouldn't normally have in the hot summer months, other Tuareg don't always understand this, they think that this grass grows naturally. We sometimes have to prevent them taking it, we have to explain that we grow it for our animals and it is not free. Sometimes there is a confrontation as a result, this is not the traditional Tuareg way so we have to explain it to them. I think in the future there will be more Tuareg living this way. "(Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

TABALAK, NIGER, SEPTEMBER 2009: Impoverished Tuareg desert nomads lift water from a very deep well using donkey teams, Tabalak, Niger, September 26, 2009. Water is increasingly scarce in these regions of the Sahara and without animals teams for drawing water and careful care of these wells, nomad life in the region will come to an end. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MARARABA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER , 2009: A young boy gets water from a goat-skin in a scene of Tuareg semi-nomadic life from the small transit town of Mararaba, Niger, September 27 2009. This small town is an intersection point for Agadez and Niamey. The lack of water in the region and the growing desertification sees more and more of the desert nomad groups moving into already crowded cities in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TASSILI 'N AJJER, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: The increasing desertification of the Sahara has driven most nomadic tribes out of the desert and into ever more crowded cities where employment is scarce for unskilled labor, Tassili 'n Ajjer, in the south of Algeria, 02 May 2009. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Tuareg Nomads on the move to a place of better grazing and water supply, Ingal Region, Niger, 10 October 2009. This group has been in this region for the rainy season, taking advantage of easy water access and good grasses for the animals. The moving is done in stages, usually the Camel herd goes first with a few men, then come the goats and then the rest of the Nomads follow with all their possessions mounted onto donkeys. Tuareg nomad tents are lightweight using wood from the south of Niger, the matting and material which cover them fold down easily. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and now have to move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, 15 SEPTEMBER 2009: A Songhai woman walks between temporary settlements on the outskirts of Timbuktu. Traders come from all over this region of Africa to do business in the legendary city. They come during the rainy season so as to have grazing for their animals and leave again when the season is over, heading back to Niger, Mauritania and other regions of the Sahara. Increasingly nomads are moving to the outskirt of cities as climate change makes life in the desert increasingly untenable. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010:Young boys lounge in the desert sand on the banks of the Libyan built Canal which brings river water to the heart of Timbuktu, Mali, 9 January 2010. In the background two young men clean their household carpet. The Canal was restored by the Libyans, who exert a strong financial influence over the whole region. Timbuktu is a city constantly fighting a surrounding desert which threateds to overwhelm it. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/REPORTAGE FOR NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.)

TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Children play in the rain after flash floods in a respite from the desert heat in a street scene in Timbuktu, a historical Malian city, September 11, 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of the M.N.J rebels, The Movement of Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of the M.N.J rebels, The Movement of Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: M.N.J rebels wash at a water hole in the deserts of Northern Niger, 6 April 2009. The Movement for Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, MAY 2005: Channana Ram, 60, an construction worker, washes out of a bucket in squalid conditions in a makeshift camp for workers in Sharjah, UAE, May 30, 2006. The United Arab Emirates is a desert region which has based much of its construction on an ability to reclaim liveable areas from the desert. This is an expensive process involving not only complex engineering but also massive desalination of salt water for human consumption and for landscaping purposes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: Images of a massacre site where the Pokot tribesman came out of the Rift Valley, their traditional area, and attacked a Samburu village over cattle grazing rights in the north of Kenya at a time of the worst drought in the region for the last 100 years, 20 November 2009. 25 Samburu men, women and children were killed in the attack, over 50 cattle were shot and over 300 died later in the week from not being able to access grazing land because of the threat of the Pokot. The drought has brought about increasingly deadly conflict between pastoralists as well as conservationists all competing for grazing land. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: An emaciated Samburu Elder pastoralist stands in his burnt-out cattle boma at at time of the worst drought in Kenya for the last 100 years, 20 November 2009. It is traditional for the Samburu and other pastoralist groups to burn their bomas if they lose their cattle to disease or drought, it is done as a cathartic excercise to remove the bad luck of the old and hopefully bring about better luck for the future. Many Samburu have lost up to 95% of their herds, making starvation a real threat over the coming months. The drought has brought about increasingly deadly conflict between pastoralists as well as conservationists all competing for grazing land. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KALAHARI DESERT, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2006: A San Bushman elder rests on a fence in the Kalahari desert that divides what used to be traditional bushmen land and is now mining territory, The Kalahari Desert, South Africa, 10 October 2006. The bushmen people have been marginalised in all of their traditional lands and are fading culture. Their traditions are dying as the means for their previous life have been dramatically diminished by mining activities and land grabs by government in the pursuit of mineral assets. Access to water holes and traditional hunting are no longer possible for the bushmen who now lives lives ofteon societies margins. (Phorograph by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TABORA, NORTH TANZANIA, FEBRUARY 2002: Drought forces humans and animals to share the only water resource in the region, disease passes easily from animals to humans in these drought driven circumstances, Tabora, Tanzania, 3 February 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NOTHERN ZAMBIA, NOVEMBER 2002: A starving farmers sits exhausted in his failed fields, a record drought has seen him lose most of his family to starvation and disease, he himself is unlikely to survive, Northern Zambia, 12 November 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TABORA, TANZANIA, AUGUST 2007: Huge erosion zones mark what was once a rural agricultural landscape, Tabora, Tanzania, 27 August 2007. Incorrect farming methods weakened the soil struture and when heavy rains came they destroyed the region, displacing massive amounts of soil in the river and diverting traditional water routes. This has had a devastating effect on local farmers who are untrained in the correct agricultural practises. Small financing and agricultural education from WWF and the Millenium Village foundation have subsequently enabled farmers in this part of Tanzania to develop land for crop production far more efficently than before thereby guaranteeing food security and a better life for local people. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BUNGOMA, KENYA - 13 SEPTEMBER: Images of a laborer in the rice-fields of Dominion Farm, the largest private American investment in Kenya, September 13, 2007 in Bungoma, Kenya. The farm is controversial as it has been reclaimed from traditional swampland. Local's feel that this has compromised their water sources which have been diverted for the rice production. This is increasingly an issue as water is being reserved for elite farming operations across Africa. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

CHINGOLA, NORTHERN ZAMBIA, FEBRUARY 2002: A dying 17 year girl old succumbs to full-blown AIDS as her mother and aunt bathe her for the last time, rural Chingola, North Zambia, 8 February 2002. A lack of access to clean drinking water accelerates the decline of the immune systme for those battling HIV in rural Africa. Their compromised immune sytems are unable to handle the parasites and disease carrried in unclean water. As a result survival rates are far lower and victims die faster in these parts of the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TABORA, TANZANIA, SEPTEMBER 2002: An 18 year old women in the final stages of pregnancy fights off a bout of Malaria at a rural clinic in Tabora, Tanzania, September 15 2002. Pregnant women who contract the disease pass it onto the child, significantly reducing the child's chances for survival. Malaria remains one of the world biggest killers, with a direct link to mosquito habitats in areas of stagnant water, often the only water source available to people in the third world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KONO, SIERRA LEONE, SEPTEMBER 2003. A mother is seen hanging up a Malaria net to dry in Kono, Sierra Leone, September 2, 2003. Anti-Malaria nets have reduced malaria incidents by up to 90% in villlages fortunate enough to receive them. Malaria remains one of the world biggest killers, with a direct link to mosquito habitats in areas of stagnant water, often the only water source available to people in the third world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KONO, SIERRA LEONE, JUNE 2003: A young boy sleeps fitfully while fighting off a bout of Malaria without access to malarial prophilactics, Kono Sierra Leone, June 3 2003. Malaria remains one of the 3 most deadly diseases, infecting 500 million people every year, killing a few million of that sum, most of the victims are children. It is directly linked to mosquito habitats in stagnant water, often the only water source available to third world inhabitants. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BUCHANAN, LIBERIA, JULY 2003: A young refugee child suffering from Cholera is examined at a make-shift rural clinic, Buchanan, Liberia, July 17 2003. At this time around 20 people a day were dieing from this infectious disease in the refugee camps. Cholera is common to refugee camps as overcrowding leads to pollution of the water source by human waste and no facilities exist for alternative water sources. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NORTH GHANA, FEBRUARY 2003: A worried father watches over his son as a guinea worm is removed in stages from the boys testicles. Guinea worm is a parasite which lives in the mud and dater around water holes in certain African countries. There is no other water source for these people and when they drink the infected water they ingest the parasite. After an 18 month gestation period the worm emerges as an infected cyst, cripplingly painful and can incapacitate its victim for months. The worm is removed slowly, often over a period of days. The body of the worm is wrapped around a stick and drawn slowly out so as not to snap the creature in half leaving the dying parasite inside the person. The people in these regions have no other water source and so are forced to go through this process many times. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/REPORTAGE BY GETTY IMAGES.)

MANSA, ZAMBIA, FEBRUARY 2003: An eleven year old girl helps her blind mother and brother to fetch water from a swamp, Mansa, Zambia, 20 February 2003. This mother and brother both lost their sight due to Trachoma, a bacterial infection of the eyelids linked to poor hygiene due to a lack of clean water. It is the leading cause of blindness in Africa and Asia. The swamp is the closest water source for this family and is located 5 kilometers from their home. The girl has looked after her family in this manner since she was 5 years old and it is her sole role in life. (Photograph by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BOLGATANGA, GHANA, AUGUST 2002: A man tunnels for water in a rural village where the locals have to dig further and further into the ground to access the retreating aquifer, Bolgatanga, Ghana, 8 August 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: A Dassanech woman sits riverside in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. THe Omo river, source of life to over 500 000 tribesman in this area, is under threat by 3 dams which the Ethiopian government brings on line over the next 5 years. This will reduce the flow of the river to one fifth of its current rate, remove the fertile flood plain neccesary for crops and drastically affect viable grazing land for these pastoralist tribes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Tribesmen bathe in the early morning in the Omo River, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. THe Omo river, source of life to over 500 000 tribesman in this area, is under threat by 3 dams which the Ethiopian government brings on line over the next 5 years. This will reduce the flow of the river to one fifth of its current rate, remove the fertile flood plain neccesary for crops and drastically affect viable grazing land for these pastoralist tribes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: Dasenetch pastoralist people with their catch of Tilapia fish in Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. Fishing is a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region but has yet to reach any real commercial significance. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Southern Ethiopia's Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: A Dasenetch pastoralist father and son use netting to catch Tilapia fish in Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. Fishing is a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

PUKAPUKI, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, OCTOBER 2004: A local man showers underneath a waterfall in the rainforest close to his village in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, 25 October 2004 . Traditional ways of life are under threat in Papua as villages have very little means of raising money through which to educate their children and pay medical bills. As a result, villages are selling the timber of the rainforest. This is a non-sustainable practise and is having a devastating effect on water supply, traditional river routes and erosion patterns. Education as to these factors is a vital but lacking components in this transition period for Papua New Guinea. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of community life in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations. This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

OK TEDI RIVER, NORTHERN PAPUA NEW GUINEA, MARCH 2009: Village children play in heavy metal water, the polluted run-off of the now defunct OK TEDI mine, a project whose slag dams collapsed and poisoned the Ok Tedi river, devastating the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of villagers across the region, Ok Tedi, PNG, 1 MArch 2009. Traditional ways of live in Papau are severly under threat from mining which often takes precedence of human rights. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

PORGERA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA HIGHLANDS, NOVEMBER 2010: An impoverished Papuan family illegally prospects in a mine tailings river with heavy metal laden waters on the outskirts of the Porgera Joint Venture Mine, Papua New Guinea, Porgera, Papua New Guinea, 21 November 2010. These empoverished people engage in illegal mining on the dumps and tailings outflow areas of the mine in order to survive. They take their five year old daughter and their 7 year old son with them on their daily mining excercises, child workers are a common site on these dumps which are both toxic and a highly dangerous illegal environment. Many of these local people sold their land to the mine for a period of the operational life of the mine. They underestimated how long the mine would keep going and the expansion thereof. The Mine dumps now flow onto the last viable land of these local people and they illegally mine those dumps to eke out a living. The ability to grow vegetable gardens is very limited and there is no hunting anymore. There are regular clashes between these illegal miners and the Porgera Joint Venture mine security force. That security force has regularly beaten, detained and handed these miners over to the police. When the illegal female miners are caught they are often offered a choice of rape or jail. There are a number of reported incidents of gang rape, with the victims too scared to file charges in court. The mine finances both its own security force of ex policeman and military as well as the local PNG government police who they have brought to the area. The environmental damage caused by the Porega Mine is a major threat to this landscape and the wellbeing of the local people who have lived in harmony with their environment for centuries. The Porgera Joint Venture Mine dumps 6.2 million tons of tailings sediment into the local river system every year. Close to the mine the waters are red from these tailings and it is feared that long term damage of the river system is inev

IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: The All American Canal, the main water conduit from the Colorado River into the Imperial Dam, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: An aerial view of the Salton Sea, a dying inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Mexican workers in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural area which traditionally uses water from the Colorado river distributed through a series of canals and irrigation channels, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Mexican workers burn off a field to clear cutting from the previous crop in Imperial Valley, an agricultural area which traditionally uses water from the Colorado river distributed through a series of canals and irrigation channels, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Scenes from the Salton Sea, a dying inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Tom Anderson of the United States Geological Survey team for the Salton sea conducts bird research in a wetland area specially created by the USGS to study the importance of bird migration and habits in the Salton sea area, August 9 2009. The Salton sea is composed mainly of agriculutural run off water and is highly saline with high fertilizer and pesticide content. Birds are at threat from the Selenium content in the sea as this is one of the major stops in the birds annual migration route. Due to increased water conservation pressures, the Salton Sea is drying out and USGS personel are examining potential solutions to accomodate the birds and the toxic dustbowl problem that could arise from a drying out of the Salton Sea. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Flood affected village men hack away the embankment left by the most recent flooding in the area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. They are doing this on the orders of the local landowner who is using this earth for contruction in another area. These men are effectively further removing the only barrier between them and further flooding but desperately need the small amount they are paid so do the work anyway. The lack of a serious engineering works aimed at flood prevention in Bangladesh is behind the suffering of millions of impoverished rural people. Annual predicable floods bring misery to millions without any effective counter plan. A fatalistic nations chooses instead to move rather than try to combat the flooding through engineering ingenuity. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. A male labourers makes around 90 US cents a day while a women makes around 50 US cents a day working in the fields. Extreme poverty and rising food prices couple with an oversupply of cheap labour has meant that many people can only afford to eat once a day. Many labourers sell their services up to a year ahead and have been caught out by rampant food prices which are beyond the reach of their wages. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GAIBANDAH, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Vulnerable farmers on flood damaged islands work to clear rice fields damaged by annual floods which destroy crops and homes amongst the poor on a yearly basis, Gaibandah, Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

DHAKA, BANGLADESH, NOVEMBER 2002: A young Dhaka slum dweller with a severe case of scabies, a contagious skin disease often associated with unsanitary living conditions associated with the annual flooding in Bangladesh, November 9 2002.. Over half of the cities 23 million inhabitants live in unsanitary conditions, with the situation moving to extremes during the months of Monsoon flooding. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Village men clear debris from a flooded area so they can use their boats in the area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. A male labourers makes around 90 US cents a day while a women makes around 50 US cents a day working in the fields. Extreme poverty and rising food prices couple with an oversupply of cheap labour has meant that many people can only afford to eat once a day. Many labourers sell their services up to a year ahead and have been caught out by rampant food prices which are beyond the reach of their wages. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Village men move from a flooded area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

MATLAP, BANGLADESH, NOVEMBER 2003: A local women displays her hands which show symptoms of Arsenic poisoning, Matlap, Bangladesh, November 2, 2003. Many thousands of wells have been constructed in Bangladesh by well-intentioned NGO's. In the early nineties these wells were found to be contaminated with naturally occuring Arsenic. This poisoning has affected over 20 million people and has led to deformities, cancers and death. The victims continue to use the contaminated water as they have no alternative water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TRINCOMALEE, SRI LANKA, APRIL 2005: A Tsunami survivor sits and cries in the ruins of the house she used to share with her husband and two children, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, 1 April 2005. Her family were lost in the wave and she now lives in the ruins of the house trying to work out how to reclaim some part of her life. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images)

KAHAWA, SRI LANKA - JANUARY 10 2005: The Venerable Dr. Talawe Sangharatana Thero stands in contemplation outside a train wrecked in the Asian Tsunami disaster, Kahawa, Sri Lanka, 1 January 2005. Over 800 people died in the wreck, many of whom were children. Dr Thero is one of the senior monks for the Southern district of Sri Lanka. Over 70% of Sri Lankans are active practioners of Buddhism and monks have been active in the devastated communites after the impact of the Tsunami. Many have sought shelter in their faith and the monks have offered whatever comfort and shelter they can. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sri Lanka Tsunami

IQUITOS, PERU-JUNE 2007: Scenes on the Northern Peruvian Amazon River from the town of Nauta to the town of Trometeros, Peru, 8 June 2007. This pristine river and massive rainforest is under threat from infrastructure development in Peru. The Achuar Indian people of this Northern region recently won a legal battle with Argentinian Oil giant PlusPetrol to stop them dumping waste oil water, so called "hot-water" into their water supply. The amount is estimated at around 500 000 barrels a day over a period of 30 years. This has played havoc with the eco-systems around the town of Trompeteros. The oil company has yet to make good on its promises for payment and transparency. The oil company provides the bulk of employment for the polluted town of Trompeteros and thus has the local Achuan population under pressure to not pay attention to the pollution levels. The Achuan people are faced with a choice between a centuries old sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the environment or a move towards increased devastation of their natural lands in the Amazon basin by the oil industry. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NORTHERN AMAZON, PERU-JUNE 2007: Aerial scenes from the Northern Amazon from the town of Iqitos to the Amazon oil town of Trompederos, Peru, 11 June 2007. The scenes show pristine forest as well as the impact of roads into the forest, roadside urbanisation and the effects of that. The images also show the oil town of Trompederos. Scenes there depict the industry of Petroplus, an Argentine oil company and the effect it has on the forest and the pipeline leading thorugh it. The Amazon is a pristine river and massive rainforest is under threat from infrastructure development in Peru. The Achuar Indian people of this Northern region recently won a legal battle with Argentinian Oil giant PlusPetrol to stop them dumping waste oil water, so called "hot-water" into their water supply. The amount is estimated at around 500 000 barrels a day over a period of 30 years. This has played havoc with the eco-systems around the town of Trompeteros. The oil company has yet to make good on its promises for payment and transparency. The oil company provides the bulk of employment for the polluted town of Trompeteros and thus has the local Achuan population under pressure to not pay attention to the pollution levels. The Achuan people are faced with a choice between a centuries old sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the environment or a move towards increased devastation of their natural lands in the Amazon basin by the oil industry. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MAZUCO, PERU-JUNE 2007: Images of the ongoing construction of the Inter-Oceanica highway, Mazuco, Peru, 15 June 2007. The building of the Inter-Oceanica Highway road has had many effects on Peru. One of the longest, most ambitious road projects in the world, it crosses Peru through the Amazon rain forest regions and continues through the Andes into Brazil. It provides the potential for great economic growth for Peru through improved transportation routes which ease the need for imports in Peru. The road however threatens the fragile eco-systems through which it passes, and that threatens much of the sustainable, subsistence existence of many Peruvians. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

FIJI, NOVEMBER 2005: An 83 year old man stands in the waters off his traditional village inamongst the gravestones of his ancestors, Fiji, 11 November 2005. When he was a boy the gravestones stood on dry ground. It is believed that Global warming is responsible for the rise in water levels in this region. Island nations around the world are increasingly under threat from rising water levels. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE MALDIVES, NOVEMBER, 2003: Fishermen raise empty nets on a coral atoll which was previously bountiful, The Maldives, November 6, 2003. Global warming has led to the death of the reef and as a result little fish remain. On top of this, the Maldives is the nation most threatened by rising water levels due to climate change. Island nations around the world are increasingly under threat from rising water levels. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

PATAWASI, THE ANDES, PERU-JUNE 2007: A rural girl living high up in the Andes, Patawasi, Peru, 21 June 2007. In the last ten years the glacier that used to cover this entire valley has retreated far back to the peaks of the mountain as a result of global warming. These mountains form the most important water catchment area for Peru's cities. The snow and ice which used to cover these mountains is largely gone and with it the guarantee of continued water supply for these cities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

DONGTING LAKE, WUHAN PROVINCE, CHINA, SEPTEMBER 2009: A woman fishes in Dongting Lake, China's second largest freshwater lake, Wuhan, 13 September 2008. This lake was restored after disastorous land reclaimation schemes but is now shrinking rapidly, losing one third of its size in July 2009. Climate change, drought and the Yangtze Three Gorges project have had a dramatic affect on the fresh water lakes which feed of the Yangtze River source. In July 2009, Xinhua News Agency reported that China's largest desert lake, Hongjiannao, was shrinking and it could disappear completely in just a few decades. He Fenqi, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences said at an international seminar, "Just 10 years ago, one couldn't see the other bank of the Hongjiannao even through a telescope. Today, it's visible with the naked eye." At one time the Lop Nur was the largest lake in the country, but it dried up in 1972 due to desertification and environmental degradation. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RISHIKESH, INDIA - DECEMBER 2006: Young Krishna devotees bathe in the Ganges River on the outskirts of Rishikesh, India, 15 December 2006. The Ganges is a very important river for the Indians, many considering bathing in the Ganges as a part of ritual cleansing. (Photos by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

VARANASSI, INDIA, FEBRUARY 2000: A feral dog consumes a body buried in the Ganges in the holy city of Varanassi, India, February 2, 2000. The Ganges River in India is considered a holy river for many devotees, bathing in it on a regular basis is regarded as a form of cleansing for the spirit and the body. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.

VARANASSI, INDIA, FEBRUARY 2000: A pilgrim bathes in the early morning as a boat load of passengers passes by on the Ganges in the holy city of Varanassi, India, February 2, 2000. The Ganges River in India is considered a holy river for many devotees, bathing in it on a regular basis is regarded as a form of cleansing for the spirit and the body. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.

RURAL ZAMBIA, NOVEMBER 2010: A young boy bathes in a small stream outside his village in Rural Zambia, 2 November 2010. This is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene and is also the daily water source for billions. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. As overpopulation increases, this resource is increasingly threatened. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GUWAHATI, BANGLADESH, AUGUST 2008: A rural woman washes clothes in an age old ritual outside her village in rural Bangladesh, 8 August 2008. This is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

ANTSIRABE, MADAGASCAR, NOVEMBER 2003: A young girl bathes in a small stream outside her village, Madagascar, November 23, 2003. This ancient practise is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene. These streams and rivers are also where most get their drinking water. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge by Getty Images.)

DJA, CAMEROON, MARCH 2010: Young village boys bathe in a local water source, a source threatened by mass logging in the region. For the majority of people around the world, rivers and streams continue to be the key to hygiene and clean drinking water. Our destruction of the environment threatens this way of life for billions of people. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Women and children fetch water from a newly contructed tap system built by the ICCN Congolese Conservation authority on the outskirts of Virunga National Park, DRC, 13 March 2012. This facility means the women and children no longer have to walk 6 kilometers to springs higher on the mountain. This has improved productivity, water quality and safety for the women. In addition to this project ICCN has constructed more than 30 schools, water points and hydro-elecric schemes, all part of a concerted effort to building understanding and appreciation for the park in the minds of local communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

BOLGATANGA, GHANA, AUGUST 2003: A young woman fetches water from a swamp area 4 miles from her village, she makes this trip at least once a day seven days a week, Bolgatanga, Ghana, 20 August 2003. It takes a large part of her day and prevents her from other forms of employment, ongoing education and real participation in village life. Water is a gender issue, with women at the forefront across the majority world. As long as women have to deal with this burden they can never reach their full potential. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAISAMIS, MARSABIT SOUTH, NORTH KENYA: Rendille women collect water from a well at the new Manyata Koya, a relocated village which moved 42 kilometers from the original Koya in 1992 due to heavy cattle raiding and fighting with the Borana tribe, North of Kenya, 27 February 2010. The collection of water remains the responsibility of women in most rural communities. The time this takes on a daily basis prevents them from ever fullfilling their potential. A great deal of the fighting for cattle and grazing rights in the region can be linked to the droughts in the region and the pressure that has placed on pastoralists. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage by Getty Images.)

MESSALO, MOZAMBIQUE, NOVEMBER 2009: Young girls collect water from a hand-pump in rural Mozambique, 2 November 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NAKURU, KENYA, DECEMBER 2009: Two women use donkeys to transport water from a pool built with the help of community funding in a rural part of Kenya, Nakuru, 11 December 2009. The distance these women have to travel for water has been halved and their water is of a far higher quality as it travels through a natural filter system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NAKURU, KENYA, DECEMBER 2009: Schoolgirls transport water to their school from a pool built with the help of community funding in a rural part of Kenya, Nakuru, 11 December 2009. This water source makes the school these girls attend possible to run. The water is used for both drinking and to run the toilet system. The distance these girls have to travel for water has been halved and their water is of a far higher quality as it travels through a natural filter system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LUANDA, ANGOLA, NOVEMBER 2009: Local people living in a poor part of Luanda, Angola, make their way to a local water pump to secure water for their day, 5 November 2009. Most will make this journey twice every day, consuming valuable time that could be used productively elsewhere. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KIBERA SLUM, NAIROBI, KENYA, AUGUST 2008: Men pour raw sewerage into a polluted stream in Kibera slum, Nairobi 18 August 2008. Urban drift now means that in the last 5 years more people live in cities than in rural areas worldwide. Many of these people are unskilled and crowded into slums without adequate clean water access. There is little viable sewerage disposal or adequate hygience facility. As a result the outbreak of disease is common and traditional water supply for cities is increasingly under threat from these slum communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LUANDA, ANGOLA, NOVEMBER 2009: A water seller in a poor neighbourhood which has just received a new water pump and is no longer in need of his expensive services, Luanda, Angola, 6 November 2009. People living in slums around the world often do not have access to free or reasonably priced water. The extra money they pay for water from water merchants could be used to improve their circumstances and the lives of their children. In many places it is a choice between money for school feels and books or money for water. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MID-RAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2010: Young schoolgirls rehearse for a dance routine in celebration of their schools new water facilities, Midrand, South Africa, 30 October 2010. The new water tank in the background has ensured the students can attend school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2009: Schoolgirls skip rope in front of their new toilet blocks at a Midrand school in South Africa, 29 October 2009. Access to clean water for drinking purposes and for toilets increases school attendence worldwide and improves the health of students. It also dramatically increases the attendence of girls who are experiencing their period once a month to have a proper toilet facility at school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2009: Students queue up for water at their new taps at a Midrand school in South Africa, 29 October 2009. These taps have been made possible by corporate sponsorship of local NGO's. Access to clean water for drinking purposes and for toilets increases school attendence worldwide and improves the health of students. It also dramatically increases the attendence of girls who are experiencing their period once a month to have a proper toilet facility at school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KISUMU, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: Boys at a high school in rural Kenya queue up with water containers to receive water from their schools new water tank, Kisumu, Kenya, 13 November 2009. Access to a regular and clean water source makes for a far less disruptive school experience for students, grades improve and there is far less sickness to disrupt their studies. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

EL MINYA, EGYPT, NOVEMBER 2009: A young women in a slum close to El Minya experiences having a water tap in her home for the first time after corporate sponsorship of a local NGO made this possible, El Minya, Egypt, 11 November 2009. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

EL MINYA, EGYPT, NOVEMBER 2009: A young boy in a slum close to El Minya experiences his first shower after corporate sponsorship of a local NGO made water lines and new plumbing possible, 11 November 2009. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: An old women fetches water from a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border, Megma, Nepal, November 1, 2003. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: A village man checks the fog-harvesting nets producing water for a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog, Megma, Nepal, November 2003. The nets are high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: A village man checks the fog-harvesting nets producing water for a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog, Megma, Nepal, November 1, 2003. The nets are high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KASUNGO, MALAWI-JULY 2008: A rural village has taken its water and food security a step further by building a dam for rainwater and then using footpumps and watering cans to get the water to fields to grow maize, Kasungo, Malawi, 14 July 2008. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KASUNGO, MALAWI-JULY 2008: A rural village has taken its water and food security a step further by building a dam for rainwater and then using footpumps and watering cans to get the water to fields to grow maize, Kasungo, Malawi, 14 July 2008. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, MARCH 2008: A worker sweeps out the final stage of the 3rd water tunnel for New York City, 7 March 2008. The Tunnel has been built to allow for maintenance of the 2 existing but aging tunnels. The third tunnel is also far more secure and is a response to the possibility of a threat to the water system of the city. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MUTWANGA, NORTH KIVU, DRC, FEBRUARY 2012: Kaseraka, 28, a polio victim, sweeps stones away from the main water flow area on a ICCN Virunga Hydro-electric project in Mutwanga, DRC, February 28 2012. Kaseraka is in charge of maintenance for the project and is typical of the disadvantaged community this scheme will benefit. This hydro-electric scheme is the Park's largest community project and will provide electricity to an empoverished community of 25 000 people as well as to schools, a general hospital and an orphanage. The pay off for the park is that the community comes to understand the relationship between healthy forests and healthy water supply as well as vastly improved community relations. Electricity will also be available for industry and that could revolutionise the community, allowing for the retention of the value of Congolese products internally as opposed to constant and expensive imports. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Geo Magazine.)

 DAG ALLAL, TIMBUKTU, MALI,  SEPTEMBER 2009: Tuareg men plant grass in the banks of the Niger River to grow a forage crop for their animals and for sale in the markets in the sedentary Tuareg village of Dag Allal in Mali on 11 September 2009. Unusual amongst Tuareg for their sedentary, non-nomadic existence, these Tuaregs remain in place all year and care for their animals by utilising agricultural techniques. They have received help from the Millenium Village Project which aims to empower local communities through education. They grow rice and forage grass in the nearby Niger river, using a canal and small pump to divert water into ricepaddies. Their leader, El Hadg Agali Ag Mohammoud, 70, explains that reasons of drought, rebellion, identity issues and a lack of union amongst the Tuareg caused this group to choose to remain in one place, "We live here all year, we take care of our animals by growing the grass that they wouldn't normally have in the hot summer months, other Tuareg don't always understand this, they think that this grass grows naturally. We sometimes have to prevent them taking it, we have to explain that we grow it for our animals and it is not free. Sometimes there is a confrontation as a result, this is not the traditional Tuareg way so we have to explain it to them. I think in the future there will be more Tuareg living this way. "(Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)
 TABALAK, NIGER, SEPTEMBER 2009: Impoverished Tuareg desert nomads lift water from a very deep well using donkey teams, Tabalak, Niger, September 26, 2009. Water is increasingly scarce in these regions of the Sahara and without animals teams for drawing water and careful care of these wells, nomad life in the region will come to an end. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MARARABA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER , 2009: A young boy gets water from a goat-skin in a scene of Tuareg semi-nomadic life from the small transit town of Mararaba, Niger, September 27 2009. This small town is an intersection point for Agadez and Niamey. The lack of water in the region and the growing desertification sees more and more of the desert nomad groups moving into already crowded cities in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TASSILI 'N AJJER, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: The increasing desertification of the Sahara has driven most nomadic tribes out of the desert and into ever more crowded cities where employment is scarce for unskilled labor, Tassili 'n Ajjer, in the south of Algeria, 02 May 2009. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Tuareg Nomads on the move to a place of better grazing and water supply, Ingal Region, Niger, 10 October 2009. This group has been in this region for the rainy season, taking advantage of easy water access and good grasses for the animals. The moving is done in stages, usually the Camel herd goes first with a few men, then come the goats and then the rest of the Nomads follow with all their possessions mounted onto donkeys. Tuareg nomad tents are lightweight using wood from the south of Niger, the matting and material which cover them fold down easily. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and now have to move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TIMBUKTU, MALI, 15 SEPTEMBER 2009: A Songhai woman walks between temporary settlements on the outskirts of Timbuktu. Traders come from all over this region of Africa to do business in the legendary city. They come during the rainy season so as to have grazing for their animals and leave again when the season is over, heading back to Niger, Mauritania and other regions of the Sahara. Increasingly nomads are moving to the outskirt of cities as climate change makes life in the desert increasingly untenable. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010:Young boys lounge in the desert sand on the banks of the Libyan built Canal which brings river water to the heart of Timbuktu, Mali, 9 January 2010. In the background two young men clean their household carpet. The Canal was restored by the Libyans, who exert a strong financial influence over the whole region.  Timbuktu is a city constantly fighting a surrounding desert which threateds to overwhelm it. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/REPORTAGE FOR NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.)
 TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Children play in the rain after flash floods in a respite from the desert heat in a street scene in Timbuktu, a historical Malian city, September 11, 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of the M.N.J rebels, The Movement of Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of the M.N.J rebels, The Movement of Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: M.N.J rebels wash at a water hole in the deserts of Northern Niger, 6 April 2009. The Movement for Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, MAY 2005: Channana Ram, 60, an construction worker, washes out of a bucket in squalid conditions in a makeshift camp for workers in Sharjah, UAE, May 30, 2006. The United Arab Emirates is a desert region which has based much of its construction on an ability to reclaim liveable areas from the desert. This is an expensive process involving not only complex engineering but also massive desalination of salt water for human consumption and for landscaping purposes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: Images of a massacre site where the Pokot tribesman came out of the Rift Valley, their traditional area, and attacked a Samburu village over cattle grazing rights in the north of Kenya at a time of the worst drought in the region for the last 100 years, 20 November 2009. 25 Samburu men, women and children were killed in the attack, over 50 cattle were shot and over 300 died later in the week from not being able to access grazing land because of the threat of the Pokot. The drought has brought about increasingly deadly conflict between pastoralists as well as conservationists all competing for grazing land. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: An emaciated Samburu Elder pastoralist stands in his burnt-out cattle boma at at time of the worst drought in Kenya for the last 100 years, 20 November 2009.  It is traditional for the Samburu and other pastoralist groups to burn their bomas if they lose their cattle to disease or drought, it is done as a cathartic excercise to remove the bad luck of the old and hopefully bring about better luck for the future. Many Samburu have lost up to 95% of their herds, making starvation a real threat over the coming months. The drought has brought about increasingly deadly conflict between pastoralists as well as conservationists all competing for grazing land. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KALAHARI DESERT, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2006: A San Bushman elder rests on a fence in the Kalahari desert that divides what used to be traditional bushmen land and is now mining territory, The Kalahari Desert, South Africa, 10 October 2006. The bushmen people have been marginalised in all of their traditional lands and are fading culture. Their traditions are dying as the means for their previous life have been dramatically diminished by mining activities and land grabs by government in the pursuit of mineral assets. Access to water holes and traditional hunting are no longer possible for the bushmen who now lives lives ofteon societies margins. (Phorograph by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TABORA, NORTH TANZANIA, FEBRUARY 2002: Drought forces humans and animals to share the only water resource in the region, disease passes easily from animals to humans in these drought driven circumstances, Tabora, Tanzania, 3 February 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 NOTHERN ZAMBIA, NOVEMBER 2002: A starving farmers sits exhausted in his failed fields, a record drought has seen him lose most of his family to starvation and disease, he himself is unlikely to survive, Northern Zambia, 12 November 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TABORA, TANZANIA, AUGUST 2007: Huge erosion zones mark what was once a rural agricultural  landscape, Tabora, Tanzania, 27 August 2007. Incorrect farming methods weakened the soil struture and when heavy rains came they destroyed the region, displacing massive amounts of soil in the river and diverting traditional water routes. This has had a devastating effect on local farmers who are untrained in the correct agricultural practises. Small financing and agricultural education from WWF and the Millenium Village foundation have subsequently enabled farmers in this part of Tanzania to develop land for crop production far more efficently than before thereby guaranteeing food security and a better life for local people. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 BUNGOMA, KENYA - 13 SEPTEMBER: Images of a laborer in the rice-fields of Dominion Farm, the largest private American investment in Kenya, September 13, 2007 in Bungoma, Kenya. The farm is controversial as it has been reclaimed from traditional swampland. Local's feel that this has compromised their water sources which have been diverted for the rice production. This is increasingly an issue as water is being reserved for elite farming operations across Africa. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 CHINGOLA, NORTHERN ZAMBIA, FEBRUARY 2002: A dying 17 year girl old succumbs to full-blown AIDS as her mother and aunt bathe her for the last time, rural Chingola, North Zambia, 8 February 2002. A lack of access to clean drinking water accelerates the decline of the immune systme for those battling HIV in rural Africa. Their compromised immune sytems are unable to handle the parasites and disease carrried in unclean water. As a result survival rates are far lower and victims die faster in these parts of the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TABORA, TANZANIA, SEPTEMBER 2002: An 18 year old women in the final stages of pregnancy fights off a bout of Malaria at a rural clinic in Tabora, Tanzania, September 15 2002. Pregnant women who contract the disease pass it onto the child, significantly reducing the child's chances for survival. Malaria remains one of the world biggest killers, with a direct link to mosquito habitats in areas of stagnant water, often the only water source available to people in the third world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KONO, SIERRA LEONE, SEPTEMBER 2003. A mother is seen hanging up a Malaria net to dry in Kono, Sierra Leone, September 2, 2003. Anti-Malaria nets have reduced malaria incidents by up to 90% in villlages fortunate enough to receive them. Malaria remains one of the world biggest killers, with a direct link to mosquito habitats in areas of stagnant water, often the only water source available to people in the third world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KONO, SIERRA LEONE, JUNE 2003: A young boy sleeps fitfully while fighting off a bout of Malaria without access to malarial prophilactics, Kono Sierra Leone, June 3 2003. Malaria remains one of the 3 most deadly diseases, infecting 500 million people every year, killing a few million of that sum, most of the victims are children. It is directly linked to mosquito habitats in stagnant water, often the only water source available to third world inhabitants. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 BUCHANAN, LIBERIA, JULY 2003: A young refugee child suffering from Cholera is examined at a make-shift rural clinic, Buchanan, Liberia, July 17 2003. At this time around 20 people a day were dieing from this infectious disease in the refugee camps. Cholera is common to refugee camps as overcrowding leads to pollution of the water source by human waste and no facilities exist for alternative water sources. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 NORTH GHANA, FEBRUARY 2003: A worried father watches over his son as a guinea worm is removed in stages from the boys testicles. Guinea worm is a parasite which lives in the mud and dater around water holes in certain African countries. There is no other water source for these people and when they drink the infected water they ingest the parasite. After an 18 month gestation period the worm emerges as an infected cyst, cripplingly painful and can incapacitate its victim for months. The worm is removed slowly, often over a period of days. The body of the worm is wrapped around a stick and drawn slowly out so as not to snap the creature in half leaving the dying parasite inside the person. The people in these regions have no other water source and so are forced to go through this process many times. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/REPORTAGE BY GETTY IMAGES.)
 MANSA, ZAMBIA, FEBRUARY 2003: An eleven year old girl helps her blind mother and brother to fetch water from a swamp, Mansa, Zambia, 20 February 2003. This mother and brother both lost their sight due to Trachoma, a bacterial infection of the eyelids linked to poor hygiene due to a lack of clean water. It is the leading cause of blindness in Africa and Asia. The swamp is the closest water source for this family and is located 5 kilometers from their home. The girl has looked after her family in this manner since she was 5 years old and it is her sole role in life. (Photograph by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 BOLGATANGA, GHANA, AUGUST 2002: A man tunnels for water in a rural village where the locals have to dig further and further into the ground to access the retreating aquifer, Bolgatanga, Ghana, 8 August 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: A Dassanech woman sits riverside in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. THe Omo river, source of life to over 500 000 tribesman in this area, is under threat by 3 dams which the Ethiopian government brings on line over the next 5 years. This will reduce the flow of the river to one fifth of its current rate, remove the fertile flood plain neccesary for crops and drastically affect viable grazing land for these pastoralist tribes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Tribesmen bathe in the early morning in the Omo River, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. THe Omo river, source of life to over 500 000 tribesman in this area, is under threat by 3 dams which the Ethiopian government brings on line over the next 5 years. This will reduce the flow of the river to one fifth of its current rate, remove the fertile flood plain neccesary for crops and drastically affect viable grazing land for these pastoralist tribes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: Dasenetch pastoralist people with their catch of Tilapia fish in Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. Fishing is a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region but has yet to reach any real commercial significance. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme  and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Southern Ethiopia's Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: A Dasenetch pastoralist father and son use netting to catch Tilapia fish in Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. Fishing is a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme  and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 PUKAPUKI, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, OCTOBER 2004: A local man showers underneath a waterfall in the rainforest close to his village in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, 25 October 2004 . Traditional ways of life are under threat in Papua as villages have very little means of raising money through which to educate their children and pay medical bills. As a result, villages are selling the timber of the rainforest. This is a non-sustainable practise and is having a devastating effect on water supply, traditional river routes and erosion patterns. Education as to these factors is a vital but lacking components in this transition period for Papua New Guinea. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of community life in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations.  This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 OK TEDI RIVER, NORTHERN PAPUA NEW GUINEA, MARCH 2009: Village children play in heavy metal water, the polluted run-off of the now defunct OK TEDI mine, a project whose slag dams collapsed and poisoned the Ok Tedi river, devastating the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of villagers across the region, Ok Tedi, PNG, 1 MArch 2009. Traditional ways of live in Papau are severly under threat from mining which often takes precedence of human rights. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 PORGERA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA HIGHLANDS, NOVEMBER 2010: An impoverished Papuan family illegally prospects in a mine tailings river with heavy metal laden waters on the outskirts of the Porgera Joint Venture Mine, Papua New Guinea, Porgera, Papua New Guinea, 21 November 2010. These empoverished people engage in illegal mining on the dumps and tailings outflow areas of the mine in order to survive. They take their five year old daughter and their 7 year old son with them on their daily mining excercises, child workers are a common site on these dumps which are both toxic and a highly dangerous illegal environment. Many of these local people sold their land to the mine for a period of the operational life of the mine. They underestimated how long the mine would keep going and the expansion thereof. The Mine dumps now flow onto the last viable land of these local people and they illegally mine those dumps to eke out a living. The ability to grow vegetable gardens is very limited and there is no hunting anymore. There are regular clashes between these illegal miners and the Porgera Joint Venture mine security force. That security force has regularly beaten, detained and handed these miners over to the police. When the illegal female miners are caught they are often offered a choice of rape or jail. There are a number of reported incidents of gang rape, with the victims too scared to file charges in court. The mine finances both its own security force of ex policeman and military as well as the local PNG government police who they have brought to the area. The environmental damage caused by the Porega Mine is a major threat to this landscape and the wellbeing of the local people who have lived in harmony with their environment for centuries. The Porgera Joint Venture Mine dumps 6.2 million tons of tailings sediment into the local river system every year. Close to the mine the waters are red from these tailings and it is feared that long term damage of the river system is inev
 IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: The All American Canal, the main water conduit from the Colorado River into the Imperial Dam, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: An aerial view of the Salton Sea, a dying inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Mexican workers in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural area which traditionally uses water from the Colorado river distributed through a series of canals and irrigation channels, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Mexican workers burn off a field to clear cutting from the previous crop in Imperial Valley, an agricultural area which traditionally uses water from the Colorado river distributed through a series of canals and irrigation channels, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Scenes from the Salton Sea, a dying inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Tom Anderson of the United States Geological Survey team for the Salton sea conducts bird research in a wetland area specially created by the USGS to study the importance of bird migration and habits in the Salton sea area, August 9 2009. The Salton sea is composed mainly of agriculutural run off water and is highly saline with high fertilizer and pesticide content. Birds are at threat from the Selenium content in the sea as this is one of the major stops in the birds annual migration route. Due to increased water conservation pressures, the Salton Sea is drying out and USGS personel are examining potential solutions to accomodate the birds and the toxic dustbowl problem that could arise from a drying out of the Salton Sea. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Flood affected village men hack away the embankment left by the most recent flooding in the area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. They are doing this on the orders of the local landowner who is using this earth for contruction in another area. These men are effectively further removing the only barrier between them and further flooding but desperately need the small amount they are paid so do the work anyway. The lack of a serious engineering works aimed at flood prevention in Bangladesh is behind the suffering of millions of impoverished rural people. Annual predicable floods bring misery to millions without any effective counter plan. A fatalistic nations chooses instead to move rather than try to combat the flooding through engineering ingenuity. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. A male labourers makes around 90 US cents a day while a women makes around 50 US cents a day working in the fields. Extreme poverty and rising food prices couple with an oversupply of cheap labour has meant that many people can only afford to eat once a day.  Many labourers sell their services up to a year ahead and have been caught out by rampant food prices which are beyond the reach of their wages. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 GAIBANDAH, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Vulnerable farmers on flood damaged islands work to clear rice fields damaged by annual floods which destroy crops and homes amongst the poor on a yearly basis, Gaibandah, Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 DHAKA, BANGLADESH, NOVEMBER 2002: A young Dhaka slum dweller with a severe case of scabies, a contagious skin disease often associated with unsanitary living conditions associated with the annual flooding in Bangladesh, November 9 2002.. Over half of the cities 23 million inhabitants live in unsanitary conditions, with the situation moving to extremes during the months of Monsoon flooding. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Village men clear debris from a flooded area so they can use their boats in the area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. A male labourers makes around 90 US cents a day while a women makes around 50 US cents a day working in the fields. Extreme poverty and rising food prices couple with an oversupply of cheap labour has meant that many people can only afford to eat once a day.  Many labourers sell their services up to a year ahead and have been caught out by rampant food prices which are beyond the reach of their wages. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Village men move from a flooded area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)
 MATLAP, BANGLADESH, NOVEMBER 2003: A local women displays her hands which show symptoms of Arsenic poisoning, Matlap, Bangladesh, November 2, 2003. Many thousands of wells have been constructed in Bangladesh by well-intentioned NGO's. In the early nineties these wells were found to be contaminated with naturally occuring Arsenic. This poisoning has affected over 20 million people and has led to deformities, cancers and death. The victims continue to use the contaminated water as they have no alternative water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 TRINCOMALEE, SRI LANKA, APRIL 2005: A Tsunami survivor sits and cries in the ruins of the house she used to share with her husband and two children, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, 1 April 2005. Her family were lost in the wave and she now lives in the ruins of the house trying to work out how to reclaim some part of her life. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images)
 KAHAWA, SRI LANKA -  JANUARY 10 2005:  The Venerable Dr. Talawe Sangharatana Thero stands in contemplation outside a train wrecked in the Asian Tsunami disaster, Kahawa, Sri Lanka, 1 January 2005. Over 800 people died in the wreck, many of whom were children. Dr Thero is one of the senior monks for the Southern district of Sri Lanka. Over 70% of Sri Lankans are active practioners of Buddhism and monks have been active in the devastated communites after the impact of the Tsunami. Many have sought shelter in their faith and the monks have offered whatever comfort and shelter they can. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sri Lanka Tsunami
 IQUITOS, PERU-JUNE 2007: Scenes on the Northern Peruvian Amazon River from the  town of Nauta to the town of Trometeros, Peru, 8 June 2007. This pristine river and massive rainforest is under threat from infrastructure development in Peru. The Achuar Indian people of this Northern region recently won a legal battle with Argentinian Oil giant PlusPetrol to stop them dumping waste oil water, so called "hot-water" into their water supply. The amount is estimated at around 500 000 barrels a day over a period of 30 years. This has played havoc with the eco-systems around the town of Trompeteros. The oil company has yet to make good on its promises for payment and transparency. The oil company provides the bulk of employment for the polluted town of Trompeteros and thus has the local Achuan population under pressure to not pay attention to the pollution levels. The Achuan people are faced with a choice between a centuries old sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the environment or a move towards increased devastation of their natural lands in the Amazon basin by the oil industry. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 NORTHERN AMAZON, PERU-JUNE 2007: Aerial scenes from the Northern Amazon from the town of Iqitos to the Amazon oil town of Trompederos, Peru, 11 June 2007. The scenes show pristine forest as well as the impact of roads into the forest, roadside urbanisation and the effects of that. The images also show the oil town of Trompederos. Scenes there depict the industry of Petroplus, an Argentine oil company and the effect it has on the forest and the pipeline leading thorugh it. The Amazon is a pristine river and massive rainforest is under threat from infrastructure development in Peru. The Achuar Indian people of this Northern region recently won a legal battle with Argentinian Oil giant PlusPetrol to stop them dumping waste oil water, so called "hot-water" into their water supply. The amount is estimated at around 500 000 barrels a day over a period of 30 years. This has played havoc with the eco-systems around the town of Trompeteros. The oil company has yet to make good on its promises for payment and transparency. The oil company provides the bulk of employment for the polluted town of Trompeteros and thus has the local Achuan population under pressure to not pay attention to the pollution levels. The Achuan people are faced with a choice between a centuries old sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the environment or a move towards increased devastation of their natural lands in the Amazon basin by the oil industry. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MAZUCO, PERU-JUNE 2007: Images of the ongoing construction of the Inter-Oceanica highway, Mazuco, Peru, 15 June 2007. The building of the Inter-Oceanica Highway road has had many effects on Peru. One of the longest, most ambitious road projects in the world, it crosses Peru through the Amazon rain forest regions and continues through the Andes into Brazil. It provides the potential for great economic growth for Peru through improved transportation routes which ease the need for imports in Peru. The road however threatens the fragile eco-systems through which it passes, and that threatens much of the sustainable, subsistence existence of many Peruvians. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 FIJI, NOVEMBER 2005: An 83 year old man stands in the waters off his traditional village inamongst the gravestones of his ancestors, Fiji, 11 November 2005. When he was a boy the gravestones stood on dry ground. It is believed that Global warming is responsible for the rise in water levels in this region. Island nations around the world are increasingly under threat from rising water levels. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 THE MALDIVES, NOVEMBER, 2003: Fishermen raise empty nets on a coral atoll which was previously bountiful, The Maldives, November 6, 2003. Global warming has led to the death of the reef and as a result little fish remain. On top of this, the Maldives is the nation most threatened by rising water levels due to climate change. Island nations around the world are increasingly under threat from rising water levels. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 PATAWASI, THE ANDES, PERU-JUNE 2007: A rural girl living high up in the Andes, Patawasi, Peru, 21 June 2007. In the last ten years the glacier that used to cover this entire valley has retreated far back to the peaks of the mountain as a result of global warming. These mountains form the most important water catchment area for Peru's cities. The snow and ice which used to cover these mountains is largely gone and with it the guarantee of continued water supply for these cities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 DONGTING LAKE, WUHAN PROVINCE, CHINA, SEPTEMBER 2009: A woman fishes in Dongting Lake, China's second largest freshwater lake, Wuhan, 13 September 2008. This lake was restored after disastorous land reclaimation schemes but is now shrinking rapidly, losing one third of its size in July 2009. Climate change, drought and the Yangtze Three Gorges project have had a dramatic affect on the fresh water lakes which feed of the Yangtze River source. In July 2009, Xinhua News Agency reported that China's largest desert lake, Hongjiannao, was shrinking and it could disappear completely in just a few decades.
He Fenqi, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences said at an international seminar, "Just 10 years ago, one couldn't see the other bank of the Hongjiannao even through a telescope. Today, it's visible with the naked eye."
At one time the Lop Nur was the largest lake in the country, but it dried up in 1972 due to desertification and environmental degradation. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 RISHIKESH, INDIA - DECEMBER 2006:  Young Krishna devotees bathe in the Ganges River on the outskirts of Rishikesh, India, 15 December 2006. The Ganges is a very important river for the Indians, many considering bathing in the Ganges as a part of ritual cleansing. (Photos by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 VARANASSI, INDIA, FEBRUARY 2000: A feral dog consumes a body buried in the Ganges in the holy city of Varanassi, India, February 2, 2000. The Ganges River in India is considered a holy river for many devotees, bathing in it on a regular basis is regarded as a form of cleansing for the spirit and the body. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.
 VARANASSI, INDIA, FEBRUARY 2000: A pilgrim bathes in the early morning as a boat load of passengers passes by on the Ganges in the holy city of Varanassi, India, February 2, 2000. The Ganges River in India is considered a holy river for many devotees, bathing in it on a regular basis is regarded as a form of cleansing for the spirit and the body. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.
 RURAL ZAMBIA, NOVEMBER 2010: A young boy bathes in a small stream outside his village in Rural Zambia, 2 November 2010. This is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene and is also the daily water source for billions. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. As overpopulation increases, this resource is increasingly threatened. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 GUWAHATI, BANGLADESH, AUGUST 2008: A rural woman washes clothes in an age old ritual outside her village in rural Bangladesh, 8 August 2008. This is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 ANTSIRABE, MADAGASCAR, NOVEMBER 2003: A young girl bathes in a small stream outside her village, Madagascar, November 23, 2003. This ancient practise is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene. These streams and rivers are also where most get their drinking water. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge by Getty Images.)
 DJA, CAMEROON, MARCH 2010: Young village boys bathe in a local water source, a source threatened by mass logging in the region. For the majority of people around the world, rivers and streams continue to be the key to hygiene and clean drinking water. Our destruction of the environment threatens this way of life for billions of people. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Women and children fetch water from a newly contructed tap system built by the ICCN Congolese Conservation authority on the outskirts of Virunga National Park, DRC, 13 March 2012. This facility means the women and children no longer have to walk 6 kilometers to springs higher on the mountain. This has improved productivity, water quality and safety for the women. In addition to this project ICCN has constructed more than 30 schools, water points and hydro-elecric schemes, all part of a concerted effort to building understanding and appreciation for the park in the minds of local communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)
 BOLGATANGA, GHANA, AUGUST 2003: A young woman fetches water from a swamp area 4 miles from her village, she makes this trip at least once a day seven days a week, Bolgatanga, Ghana, 20 August 2003. It takes a large part of her day and prevents her from other forms of employment, ongoing education and real participation in village life. Water is a gender issue, with women at the forefront across the majority world. As long as women have to deal with this burden they can never reach their full potential. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LAISAMIS, MARSABIT SOUTH, NORTH KENYA: Rendille women collect water from a well at the new Manyata Koya, a relocated village which moved 42 kilometers from the original Koya in 1992 due to heavy cattle raiding and fighting with the Borana tribe, North of Kenya, 27 February 2010. The collection of water remains the responsibility of women in most rural communities. The time this takes on a daily basis prevents them from ever fullfilling their potential. A great deal of the fighting for cattle and grazing rights in the region can be linked to the droughts in the region and the pressure that has placed on pastoralists. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MESSALO, MOZAMBIQUE, NOVEMBER 2009: Young girls collect water from a hand-pump in rural Mozambique, 2 November 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 NAKURU, KENYA, DECEMBER 2009: Two women use donkeys to transport water from a pool built with the help of community funding in a rural part of Kenya, Nakuru, 11 December 2009. The distance these women have to travel for water has been halved and their water is of a far higher quality as it travels through a natural filter system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 NAKURU, KENYA, DECEMBER 2009: Schoolgirls transport water to their school from a pool built with the help of community funding in a rural part of Kenya, Nakuru, 11 December 2009. This water source makes the school these girls attend possible to run. The water is used for both drinking and to run the toilet system. The distance these girls have to travel for water has been halved and their water is of a far higher quality as it travels through a natural filter system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LUANDA, ANGOLA, NOVEMBER 2009: Local people living in a poor part of Luanda, Angola, make their way to a local water pump to secure water for their day, 5 November 2009. Most will make this journey twice every day, consuming valuable time that could be used productively elsewhere. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KIBERA SLUM, NAIROBI, KENYA, AUGUST 2008: Men pour raw sewerage into a polluted stream in Kibera slum, Nairobi 18 August 2008. Urban drift now means that in the last 5 years more people live in cities than in rural areas worldwide. Many of these people are unskilled and crowded into slums without adequate clean water access. There is little viable sewerage disposal or adequate hygience facility. As a result the outbreak of disease is common and traditional water supply for cities is increasingly under threat from these slum communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 LUANDA, ANGOLA, NOVEMBER 2009: A water seller in a poor neighbourhood which has just received a new water pump and is no longer in need of his expensive services, Luanda, Angola, 6 November 2009. People living in slums around the world often do not have access to free or reasonably priced water. The extra money they pay for water from water merchants could be used to improve their circumstances and the lives of their children. In many places it is a choice between money for school feels and books or money for water. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MID-RAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2010: Young schoolgirls rehearse for a dance routine in celebration of their schools new water facilities, Midrand, South Africa, 30 October 2010. The new water tank in the background has ensured the students can attend school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2009: Schoolgirls skip rope in front of their new toilet blocks at a Midrand school in South Africa, 29 October 2009. Access to clean water for drinking purposes and for toilets increases school attendence worldwide and improves the health of students. It also dramatically increases the attendence of girls who are experiencing their period once a month to have a proper toilet facility at school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2009: Students queue up for water at their new taps at a Midrand school in South Africa, 29 October 2009. These taps have been made possible by corporate sponsorship of local NGO's. Access to clean water for drinking purposes and for toilets increases school attendence worldwide and improves the health of students. It also dramatically increases the attendence of girls who are experiencing their period once a month to have a proper toilet facility at school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KISUMU, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: Boys at a high school in rural Kenya queue up with water containers to receive water from their schools new water tank, Kisumu, Kenya, 13 November 2009. Access to a regular and clean water source makes for a far less disruptive school experience for students, grades improve and there is far less sickness to disrupt their studies. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 EL MINYA, EGYPT, NOVEMBER 2009: A young women in a slum close to El Minya experiences having a water tap in her home for the first time after corporate sponsorship of a local NGO made this possible, El Minya, Egypt, 11 November 2009. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 EL MINYA, EGYPT, NOVEMBER 2009: A young boy in a slum close to El Minya experiences his first shower after corporate sponsorship of a local NGO made water lines and new plumbing possible, 11 November 2009. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: An old women fetches water from a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border, Megma, Nepal, November 1, 2003. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: A village man checks the fog-harvesting nets producing water for a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog, Megma, Nepal, November 2003. The nets are high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: A village man checks the fog-harvesting nets producing water for a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog, Megma, Nepal, November 1, 2003. The nets are high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KASUNGO, MALAWI-JULY 2008: A rural village has taken its water and food security a step further by building a dam for rainwater and then using footpumps and watering cans to get the water to fields to grow maize, Kasungo, Malawi, 14 July 2008. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 KASUNGO, MALAWI-JULY 2008: A rural village has taken its water and food security a step further by building a dam for rainwater and then using footpumps and watering cans to get the water to fields to grow maize, Kasungo, Malawi, 14 July 2008. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, MARCH 2008: A worker sweeps out the final stage of the 3rd water tunnel for New York City, 7 March 2008. The Tunnel has been built to allow for maintenance of the 2 existing but aging tunnels. The third tunnel is also far more secure and is a response to the possibility of a threat to the water system of the city. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)
 MUTWANGA, NORTH KIVU, DRC, FEBRUARY 2012: Kaseraka, 28, a polio victim, sweeps stones away from the main water flow area on a ICCN Virunga Hydro-electric project in Mutwanga, DRC, February 28 2012. Kaseraka is in charge of maintenance for the project and is typical of the disadvantaged community this scheme will benefit. This hydro-electric scheme is the Park's largest community project and will provide electricity to an empoverished community of 25 000 people as well as to schools, a general hospital and an orphanage. The pay off for the park is that the community comes to understand the relationship between healthy forests and healthy water supply as well as vastly improved community relations. Electricity will also be available for industry and that could revolutionise the community, allowing for the retention of the value of Congolese products internally as opposed to constant and expensive imports. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Geo Magazine.)

DAG ALLAL, TIMBUKTU, MALI, SEPTEMBER 2009: Tuareg men plant grass in the banks of the Niger River to grow a forage crop for their animals and for sale in the markets in the sedentary Tuareg village of Dag Allal in Mali on 11 September 2009. Unusual amongst Tuareg for their sedentary, non-nomadic existence, these Tuaregs remain in place all year and care for their animals by utilising agricultural techniques. They have received help from the Millenium Village Project which aims to empower local communities through education. They grow rice and forage grass in the nearby Niger river, using a canal and small pump to divert water into ricepaddies. Their leader, El Hadg Agali Ag Mohammoud, 70, explains that reasons of drought, rebellion, identity issues and a lack of union amongst the Tuareg caused this group to choose to remain in one place, "We live here all year, we take care of our animals by growing the grass that they wouldn't normally have in the hot summer months, other Tuareg don't always understand this, they think that this grass grows naturally. We sometimes have to prevent them taking it, we have to explain that we grow it for our animals and it is not free. Sometimes there is a confrontation as a result, this is not the traditional Tuareg way so we have to explain it to them. I think in the future there will be more Tuareg living this way. "(Photo by Brent Stirton/National Geographic.)

TABALAK, NIGER, SEPTEMBER 2009: Impoverished Tuareg desert nomads lift water from a very deep well using donkey teams, Tabalak, Niger, September 26, 2009. Water is increasingly scarce in these regions of the Sahara and without animals teams for drawing water and careful care of these wells, nomad life in the region will come to an end. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MARARABA, NIGER, SEPTEMBER , 2009: A young boy gets water from a goat-skin in a scene of Tuareg semi-nomadic life from the small transit town of Mararaba, Niger, September 27 2009. This small town is an intersection point for Agadez and Niamey. The lack of water in the region and the growing desertification sees more and more of the desert nomad groups moving into already crowded cities in the region. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TASSILI 'N AJJER, SOUTHERN ALGERIA, APRIL 2009: The increasing desertification of the Sahara has driven most nomadic tribes out of the desert and into ever more crowded cities where employment is scarce for unskilled labor, Tassili 'n Ajjer, in the south of Algeria, 02 May 2009. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

INGAL, NIGER, OCTOBER 2009: Tuareg Nomads on the move to a place of better grazing and water supply, Ingal Region, Niger, 10 October 2009. This group has been in this region for the rainy season, taking advantage of easy water access and good grasses for the animals. The moving is done in stages, usually the Camel herd goes first with a few men, then come the goats and then the rest of the Nomads follow with all their possessions mounted onto donkeys. Tuareg nomad tents are lightweight using wood from the south of Niger, the matting and material which cover them fold down easily. Tuareg Nomads have two traditional priorities, their animals and access to water. This group has moved to this region at this time to enjoy the remaining good grassland of the rainy season and now have to move again to be close to a good water source. The nomads survive on a diet of millet and camel milk which is occasionally supplemented by goat meat. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, 15 SEPTEMBER 2009: A Songhai woman walks between temporary settlements on the outskirts of Timbuktu. Traders come from all over this region of Africa to do business in the legendary city. They come during the rainy season so as to have grazing for their animals and leave again when the season is over, heading back to Niger, Mauritania and other regions of the Sahara. Increasingly nomads are moving to the outskirt of cities as climate change makes life in the desert increasingly untenable. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TIMBUKTU, MALI, JANUARY 2010:Young boys lounge in the desert sand on the banks of the Libyan built Canal which brings river water to the heart of Timbuktu, Mali, 9 January 2010. In the background two young men clean their household carpet. The Canal was restored by the Libyans, who exert a strong financial influence over the whole region. Timbuktu is a city constantly fighting a surrounding desert which threateds to overwhelm it. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/REPORTAGE FOR NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.)

TIMBUKTU, SEPTEMBER 2009: Children play in the rain after flash floods in a respite from the desert heat in a street scene in Timbuktu, a historical Malian city, September 11, 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of the M.N.J rebels, The Movement of Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: Images of the M.N.J rebels, The Movement of Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TAZERZEIT, AIR MOUNTAINS, NORTHERN NIGER, APRIL 2009: M.N.J rebels wash at a water hole in the deserts of Northern Niger, 6 April 2009. The Movement for Justice in Niger, a Tuareg led rebellion against the Niger government for reasons of perceived discrimination, social injustice and resource ownership in Niger's growing Uranium and natural resources, 5 April 2009. The rebels feel they have no choice as the traditional grazing lands and water rights of the Tuareg in Niger are threatend by the Uranium industry and the Tuareg remain uncompensated for it. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, MAY 2005: Channana Ram, 60, an construction worker, washes out of a bucket in squalid conditions in a makeshift camp for workers in Sharjah, UAE, May 30, 2006. The United Arab Emirates is a desert region which has based much of its construction on an ability to reclaim liveable areas from the desert. This is an expensive process involving not only complex engineering but also massive desalination of salt water for human consumption and for landscaping purposes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: Images of a massacre site where the Pokot tribesman came out of the Rift Valley, their traditional area, and attacked a Samburu village over cattle grazing rights in the north of Kenya at a time of the worst drought in the region for the last 100 years, 20 November 2009. 25 Samburu men, women and children were killed in the attack, over 50 cattle were shot and over 300 died later in the week from not being able to access grazing land because of the threat of the Pokot. The drought has brought about increasingly deadly conflict between pastoralists as well as conservationists all competing for grazing land. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RIFT VALLEY PROVINCE, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: An emaciated Samburu Elder pastoralist stands in his burnt-out cattle boma at at time of the worst drought in Kenya for the last 100 years, 20 November 2009. It is traditional for the Samburu and other pastoralist groups to burn their bomas if they lose their cattle to disease or drought, it is done as a cathartic excercise to remove the bad luck of the old and hopefully bring about better luck for the future. Many Samburu have lost up to 95% of their herds, making starvation a real threat over the coming months. The drought has brought about increasingly deadly conflict between pastoralists as well as conservationists all competing for grazing land. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KALAHARI DESERT, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2006: A San Bushman elder rests on a fence in the Kalahari desert that divides what used to be traditional bushmen land and is now mining territory, The Kalahari Desert, South Africa, 10 October 2006. The bushmen people have been marginalised in all of their traditional lands and are fading culture. Their traditions are dying as the means for their previous life have been dramatically diminished by mining activities and land grabs by government in the pursuit of mineral assets. Access to water holes and traditional hunting are no longer possible for the bushmen who now lives lives ofteon societies margins. (Phorograph by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TABORA, NORTH TANZANIA, FEBRUARY 2002: Drought forces humans and animals to share the only water resource in the region, disease passes easily from animals to humans in these drought driven circumstances, Tabora, Tanzania, 3 February 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NOTHERN ZAMBIA, NOVEMBER 2002: A starving farmers sits exhausted in his failed fields, a record drought has seen him lose most of his family to starvation and disease, he himself is unlikely to survive, Northern Zambia, 12 November 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TABORA, TANZANIA, AUGUST 2007: Huge erosion zones mark what was once a rural agricultural landscape, Tabora, Tanzania, 27 August 2007. Incorrect farming methods weakened the soil struture and when heavy rains came they destroyed the region, displacing massive amounts of soil in the river and diverting traditional water routes. This has had a devastating effect on local farmers who are untrained in the correct agricultural practises. Small financing and agricultural education from WWF and the Millenium Village foundation have subsequently enabled farmers in this part of Tanzania to develop land for crop production far more efficently than before thereby guaranteeing food security and a better life for local people. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BUNGOMA, KENYA - 13 SEPTEMBER: Images of a laborer in the rice-fields of Dominion Farm, the largest private American investment in Kenya, September 13, 2007 in Bungoma, Kenya. The farm is controversial as it has been reclaimed from traditional swampland. Local's feel that this has compromised their water sources which have been diverted for the rice production. This is increasingly an issue as water is being reserved for elite farming operations across Africa. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

CHINGOLA, NORTHERN ZAMBIA, FEBRUARY 2002: A dying 17 year girl old succumbs to full-blown AIDS as her mother and aunt bathe her for the last time, rural Chingola, North Zambia, 8 February 2002. A lack of access to clean drinking water accelerates the decline of the immune systme for those battling HIV in rural Africa. Their compromised immune sytems are unable to handle the parasites and disease carrried in unclean water. As a result survival rates are far lower and victims die faster in these parts of the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TABORA, TANZANIA, SEPTEMBER 2002: An 18 year old women in the final stages of pregnancy fights off a bout of Malaria at a rural clinic in Tabora, Tanzania, September 15 2002. Pregnant women who contract the disease pass it onto the child, significantly reducing the child's chances for survival. Malaria remains one of the world biggest killers, with a direct link to mosquito habitats in areas of stagnant water, often the only water source available to people in the third world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KONO, SIERRA LEONE, SEPTEMBER 2003. A mother is seen hanging up a Malaria net to dry in Kono, Sierra Leone, September 2, 2003. Anti-Malaria nets have reduced malaria incidents by up to 90% in villlages fortunate enough to receive them. Malaria remains one of the world biggest killers, with a direct link to mosquito habitats in areas of stagnant water, often the only water source available to people in the third world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KONO, SIERRA LEONE, JUNE 2003: A young boy sleeps fitfully while fighting off a bout of Malaria without access to malarial prophilactics, Kono Sierra Leone, June 3 2003. Malaria remains one of the 3 most deadly diseases, infecting 500 million people every year, killing a few million of that sum, most of the victims are children. It is directly linked to mosquito habitats in stagnant water, often the only water source available to third world inhabitants. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BUCHANAN, LIBERIA, JULY 2003: A young refugee child suffering from Cholera is examined at a make-shift rural clinic, Buchanan, Liberia, July 17 2003. At this time around 20 people a day were dieing from this infectious disease in the refugee camps. Cholera is common to refugee camps as overcrowding leads to pollution of the water source by human waste and no facilities exist for alternative water sources. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NORTH GHANA, FEBRUARY 2003: A worried father watches over his son as a guinea worm is removed in stages from the boys testicles. Guinea worm is a parasite which lives in the mud and dater around water holes in certain African countries. There is no other water source for these people and when they drink the infected water they ingest the parasite. After an 18 month gestation period the worm emerges as an infected cyst, cripplingly painful and can incapacitate its victim for months. The worm is removed slowly, often over a period of days. The body of the worm is wrapped around a stick and drawn slowly out so as not to snap the creature in half leaving the dying parasite inside the person. The people in these regions have no other water source and so are forced to go through this process many times. (PHOTO BY BRENT STIRTON/REPORTAGE BY GETTY IMAGES.)

MANSA, ZAMBIA, FEBRUARY 2003: An eleven year old girl helps her blind mother and brother to fetch water from a swamp, Mansa, Zambia, 20 February 2003. This mother and brother both lost their sight due to Trachoma, a bacterial infection of the eyelids linked to poor hygiene due to a lack of clean water. It is the leading cause of blindness in Africa and Asia. The swamp is the closest water source for this family and is located 5 kilometers from their home. The girl has looked after her family in this manner since she was 5 years old and it is her sole role in life. (Photograph by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

BOLGATANGA, GHANA, AUGUST 2002: A man tunnels for water in a rural village where the locals have to dig further and further into the ground to access the retreating aquifer, Bolgatanga, Ghana, 8 August 2002. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: A Dassanech woman sits riverside in the Lower Omo Valley, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. THe Omo river, source of life to over 500 000 tribesman in this area, is under threat by 3 dams which the Ethiopian government brings on line over the next 5 years. This will reduce the flow of the river to one fifth of its current rate, remove the fertile flood plain neccesary for crops and drastically affect viable grazing land for these pastoralist tribes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LORYRA, SOUTH OMO, ETHIOPIA, DECEMBER 2007: Tribesmen bathe in the early morning in the Omo River, South West Ethiopia, 14 December 2007. THe Omo river, source of life to over 500 000 tribesman in this area, is under threat by 3 dams which the Ethiopian government brings on line over the next 5 years. This will reduce the flow of the river to one fifth of its current rate, remove the fertile flood plain neccesary for crops and drastically affect viable grazing land for these pastoralist tribes. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: Dasenetch pastoralist people with their catch of Tilapia fish in Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. Fishing is a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region but has yet to reach any real commercial significance. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Southern Ethiopia's Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAKE TURKANA, NORTHERN KENYA, MAY 2010: A Dasenetch pastoralist father and son use netting to catch Tilapia fish in Lake Turkana in North Kenya, 20 May 2010. Fishing is a relatively new phenomenon for the Dasenetch, drought and climate change have forced them to look further than cattle for alternative sources of sustenance and economy. Fishing has become the primary means in the Lake Turkana region. The lake is the largest desert lake in the world and sustains both Turkana and Dasenetch people as well as Gabra and other tribes in the region. Lake Turkana faces an uncertain future however as the Gibe 3 dam project in Ethiopia, a massive hydro-electric scheme and Ethiopia's biggest single investment, comes on line. The dam project, designed to create electricity for sale to surrounding countries including Kenya, will reduce the flow of the Omo river dramatically and this river is the main feeder river for Lake Turkana. Significant changes in lake levels and in ecology can be expected as a result. Fertile flood plain invaluable for agriculture will also be negatively impacted. All of this bodes badly for the pastoralists of the Lake Turkana and Omo river region, these groups are already under severe subsistence pressure and there is a long history of armed conflict in the region. Weapons flow in to this region through Sudan and Somalia and there is little control over this trade which looks likely to accelerate if pressures increase in this region. At this time the Dam project has full support from Kenya's Nairobi government, despite the fact that there has been no Environmental Impact Asssesment produced for this scheme. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

PUKAPUKI, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, OCTOBER 2004: A local man showers underneath a waterfall in the rainforest close to his village in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, 25 October 2004 . Traditional ways of life are under threat in Papua as villages have very little means of raising money through which to educate their children and pay medical bills. As a result, villages are selling the timber of the rainforest. This is a non-sustainable practise and is having a devastating effect on water supply, traditional river routes and erosion patterns. Education as to these factors is a vital but lacking components in this transition period for Papua New Guinea. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAKE MURRAY, WESTERN PROVINCE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-JANUARY 2008: Scenes of community life in Kubut Village, Lake Murray, Papua New Guinea, 1 January 2009. Lake Murray is a region where people have lived lives in harmony with nature for centuries. People make their living by hunting, farming, fishing, and growing rubber trees and now also with Eco-forestry. Their life-styles are dependant on the harmony between them and nature and they are trying to ensure a sustainable relationship for future generations. This has been complicated and compromised by the interventions of both international mining and logging groups over the last few decades but local community resistance is growing as rising anger mounts at the environmental damage done to rivers and forests which form the backbone of the village survival system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

OK TEDI RIVER, NORTHERN PAPUA NEW GUINEA, MARCH 2009: Village children play in heavy metal water, the polluted run-off of the now defunct OK TEDI mine, a project whose slag dams collapsed and poisoned the Ok Tedi river, devastating the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of villagers across the region, Ok Tedi, PNG, 1 MArch 2009. Traditional ways of live in Papau are severly under threat from mining which often takes precedence of human rights. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

PORGERA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA HIGHLANDS, NOVEMBER 2010: An impoverished Papuan family illegally prospects in a mine tailings river with heavy metal laden waters on the outskirts of the Porgera Joint Venture Mine, Papua New Guinea, Porgera, Papua New Guinea, 21 November 2010. These empoverished people engage in illegal mining on the dumps and tailings outflow areas of the mine in order to survive. They take their five year old daughter and their 7 year old son with them on their daily mining excercises, child workers are a common site on these dumps which are both toxic and a highly dangerous illegal environment. Many of these local people sold their land to the mine for a period of the operational life of the mine. They underestimated how long the mine would keep going and the expansion thereof. The Mine dumps now flow onto the last viable land of these local people and they illegally mine those dumps to eke out a living. The ability to grow vegetable gardens is very limited and there is no hunting anymore. There are regular clashes between these illegal miners and the Porgera Joint Venture mine security force. That security force has regularly beaten, detained and handed these miners over to the police. When the illegal female miners are caught they are often offered a choice of rape or jail. There are a number of reported incidents of gang rape, with the victims too scared to file charges in court. The mine finances both its own security force of ex policeman and military as well as the local PNG government police who they have brought to the area. The environmental damage caused by the Porega Mine is a major threat to this landscape and the wellbeing of the local people who have lived in harmony with their environment for centuries. The Porgera Joint Venture Mine dumps 6.2 million tons of tailings sediment into the local river system every year. Close to the mine the waters are red from these tailings and it is feared that long term damage of the river system is inev

IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: The All American Canal, the main water conduit from the Colorado River into the Imperial Dam, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: An aerial view of the Salton Sea, a dying inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Mexican workers in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural area which traditionally uses water from the Colorado river distributed through a series of canals and irrigation channels, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

IMPERIAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Mexican workers burn off a field to clear cutting from the previous crop in Imperial Valley, an agricultural area which traditionally uses water from the Colorado river distributed through a series of canals and irrigation channels, Imperial Valley, 6 August 2009. The Imperial Valley is a desert area which controversially uses three quarters of Californias allocated river water for agricultural purposes. The agricultural techniques have traditionally been flood and furrow which experts claim waste vast quanties of precious water. Imperial Valley farmers are looking at alternative techniques through which to conserve water supply. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Scenes from the Salton Sea, a dying inland lake which currently exists as a result of run off agricultural waste water from the fields of Imperial Valley and the Coachella Valley, August 9 2009. The Salton Sea is 25% more saline than the Pacific but remains an important weland for migrating birds and agriculture in the region. A former resort area, its is economically depressed nowadays and all reports seem to indicate a drying out of the sea as greater efforts move into place to conserve water on the surrounding farmlands. There are genuine concerns that the drying out of the Salton sea could lead to a dustbowl situation in which years of accumulated fertlizers, salts and pesticides which are in the Salton sea could be released into the air. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE SALTON SEA, CALIFORNIA, AUGUST 2009: Tom Anderson of the United States Geological Survey team for the Salton sea conducts bird research in a wetland area specially created by the USGS to study the importance of bird migration and habits in the Salton sea area, August 9 2009. The Salton sea is composed mainly of agriculutural run off water and is highly saline with high fertilizer and pesticide content. Birds are at threat from the Selenium content in the sea as this is one of the major stops in the birds annual migration route. Due to increased water conservation pressures, the Salton Sea is drying out and USGS personel are examining potential solutions to accomodate the birds and the toxic dustbowl problem that could arise from a drying out of the Salton Sea. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Flood affected village men hack away the embankment left by the most recent flooding in the area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. They are doing this on the orders of the local landowner who is using this earth for contruction in another area. These men are effectively further removing the only barrier between them and further flooding but desperately need the small amount they are paid so do the work anyway. The lack of a serious engineering works aimed at flood prevention in Bangladesh is behind the suffering of millions of impoverished rural people. Annual predicable floods bring misery to millions without any effective counter plan. A fatalistic nations chooses instead to move rather than try to combat the flooding through engineering ingenuity. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. A male labourers makes around 90 US cents a day while a women makes around 50 US cents a day working in the fields. Extreme poverty and rising food prices couple with an oversupply of cheap labour has meant that many people can only afford to eat once a day. Many labourers sell their services up to a year ahead and have been caught out by rampant food prices which are beyond the reach of their wages. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GAIBANDAH, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Vulnerable farmers on flood damaged islands work to clear rice fields damaged by annual floods which destroy crops and homes amongst the poor on a yearly basis, Gaibandah, Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

DHAKA, BANGLADESH, NOVEMBER 2002: A young Dhaka slum dweller with a severe case of scabies, a contagious skin disease often associated with unsanitary living conditions associated with the annual flooding in Bangladesh, November 9 2002.. Over half of the cities 23 million inhabitants live in unsanitary conditions, with the situation moving to extremes during the months of Monsoon flooding. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Village men clear debris from a flooded area so they can use their boats in the area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. A male labourers makes around 90 US cents a day while a women makes around 50 US cents a day working in the fields. Extreme poverty and rising food prices couple with an oversupply of cheap labour has meant that many people can only afford to eat once a day. Many labourers sell their services up to a year ahead and have been caught out by rampant food prices which are beyond the reach of their wages. Bangladesh is one of the worst affected countries in terms of food security. The price of food staples have doubled in the last 5 months and civil unrest is a possibility in the near future. Rising world energy prices, one of the world's poorest populations, and a loss of government subsidies for food staples combined with the world's highest flood plain has meant that many people are down to one meal a day. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KURIGRAM, BANGLADESH-AUGUST 2008: Village men move from a flooded area where their village used to be, Kurigram, Northern Bangladesh, 2 August 2008. Flooding, Poverty and lack of protected land ownership amongst the poor is driving a serious food crisis in Bangladesh. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

MATLAP, BANGLADESH, NOVEMBER 2003: A local women displays her hands which show symptoms of Arsenic poisoning, Matlap, Bangladesh, November 2, 2003. Many thousands of wells have been constructed in Bangladesh by well-intentioned NGO's. In the early nineties these wells were found to be contaminated with naturally occuring Arsenic. This poisoning has affected over 20 million people and has led to deformities, cancers and death. The victims continue to use the contaminated water as they have no alternative water source. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

TRINCOMALEE, SRI LANKA, APRIL 2005: A Tsunami survivor sits and cries in the ruins of the house she used to share with her husband and two children, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, 1 April 2005. Her family were lost in the wave and she now lives in the ruins of the house trying to work out how to reclaim some part of her life. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images)

KAHAWA, SRI LANKA - JANUARY 10 2005: The Venerable Dr. Talawe Sangharatana Thero stands in contemplation outside a train wrecked in the Asian Tsunami disaster, Kahawa, Sri Lanka, 1 January 2005. Over 800 people died in the wreck, many of whom were children. Dr Thero is one of the senior monks for the Southern district of Sri Lanka. Over 70% of Sri Lankans are active practioners of Buddhism and monks have been active in the devastated communites after the impact of the Tsunami. Many have sought shelter in their faith and the monks have offered whatever comfort and shelter they can. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sri Lanka Tsunami

IQUITOS, PERU-JUNE 2007: Scenes on the Northern Peruvian Amazon River from the town of Nauta to the town of Trometeros, Peru, 8 June 2007. This pristine river and massive rainforest is under threat from infrastructure development in Peru. The Achuar Indian people of this Northern region recently won a legal battle with Argentinian Oil giant PlusPetrol to stop them dumping waste oil water, so called "hot-water" into their water supply. The amount is estimated at around 500 000 barrels a day over a period of 30 years. This has played havoc with the eco-systems around the town of Trompeteros. The oil company has yet to make good on its promises for payment and transparency. The oil company provides the bulk of employment for the polluted town of Trompeteros and thus has the local Achuan population under pressure to not pay attention to the pollution levels. The Achuan people are faced with a choice between a centuries old sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the environment or a move towards increased devastation of their natural lands in the Amazon basin by the oil industry. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NORTHERN AMAZON, PERU-JUNE 2007: Aerial scenes from the Northern Amazon from the town of Iqitos to the Amazon oil town of Trompederos, Peru, 11 June 2007. The scenes show pristine forest as well as the impact of roads into the forest, roadside urbanisation and the effects of that. The images also show the oil town of Trompederos. Scenes there depict the industry of Petroplus, an Argentine oil company and the effect it has on the forest and the pipeline leading thorugh it. The Amazon is a pristine river and massive rainforest is under threat from infrastructure development in Peru. The Achuar Indian people of this Northern region recently won a legal battle with Argentinian Oil giant PlusPetrol to stop them dumping waste oil water, so called "hot-water" into their water supply. The amount is estimated at around 500 000 barrels a day over a period of 30 years. This has played havoc with the eco-systems around the town of Trompeteros. The oil company has yet to make good on its promises for payment and transparency. The oil company provides the bulk of employment for the polluted town of Trompeteros and thus has the local Achuan population under pressure to not pay attention to the pollution levels. The Achuan people are faced with a choice between a centuries old sustainable lifestyle in harmony with the environment or a move towards increased devastation of their natural lands in the Amazon basin by the oil industry. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MAZUCO, PERU-JUNE 2007: Images of the ongoing construction of the Inter-Oceanica highway, Mazuco, Peru, 15 June 2007. The building of the Inter-Oceanica Highway road has had many effects on Peru. One of the longest, most ambitious road projects in the world, it crosses Peru through the Amazon rain forest regions and continues through the Andes into Brazil. It provides the potential for great economic growth for Peru through improved transportation routes which ease the need for imports in Peru. The road however threatens the fragile eco-systems through which it passes, and that threatens much of the sustainable, subsistence existence of many Peruvians. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

FIJI, NOVEMBER 2005: An 83 year old man stands in the waters off his traditional village inamongst the gravestones of his ancestors, Fiji, 11 November 2005. When he was a boy the gravestones stood on dry ground. It is believed that Global warming is responsible for the rise in water levels in this region. Island nations around the world are increasingly under threat from rising water levels. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

THE MALDIVES, NOVEMBER, 2003: Fishermen raise empty nets on a coral atoll which was previously bountiful, The Maldives, November 6, 2003. Global warming has led to the death of the reef and as a result little fish remain. On top of this, the Maldives is the nation most threatened by rising water levels due to climate change. Island nations around the world are increasingly under threat from rising water levels. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

PATAWASI, THE ANDES, PERU-JUNE 2007: A rural girl living high up in the Andes, Patawasi, Peru, 21 June 2007. In the last ten years the glacier that used to cover this entire valley has retreated far back to the peaks of the mountain as a result of global warming. These mountains form the most important water catchment area for Peru's cities. The snow and ice which used to cover these mountains is largely gone and with it the guarantee of continued water supply for these cities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

DONGTING LAKE, WUHAN PROVINCE, CHINA, SEPTEMBER 2009: A woman fishes in Dongting Lake, China's second largest freshwater lake, Wuhan, 13 September 2008. This lake was restored after disastorous land reclaimation schemes but is now shrinking rapidly, losing one third of its size in July 2009. Climate change, drought and the Yangtze Three Gorges project have had a dramatic affect on the fresh water lakes which feed of the Yangtze River source. In July 2009, Xinhua News Agency reported that China's largest desert lake, Hongjiannao, was shrinking and it could disappear completely in just a few decades. He Fenqi, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences said at an international seminar, "Just 10 years ago, one couldn't see the other bank of the Hongjiannao even through a telescope. Today, it's visible with the naked eye." At one time the Lop Nur was the largest lake in the country, but it dried up in 1972 due to desertification and environmental degradation. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RISHIKESH, INDIA - DECEMBER 2006: Young Krishna devotees bathe in the Ganges River on the outskirts of Rishikesh, India, 15 December 2006. The Ganges is a very important river for the Indians, many considering bathing in the Ganges as a part of ritual cleansing. (Photos by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

VARANASSI, INDIA, FEBRUARY 2000: A feral dog consumes a body buried in the Ganges in the holy city of Varanassi, India, February 2, 2000. The Ganges River in India is considered a holy river for many devotees, bathing in it on a regular basis is regarded as a form of cleansing for the spirit and the body. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.

VARANASSI, INDIA, FEBRUARY 2000: A pilgrim bathes in the early morning as a boat load of passengers passes by on the Ganges in the holy city of Varanassi, India, February 2, 2000. The Ganges River in India is considered a holy river for many devotees, bathing in it on a regular basis is regarded as a form of cleansing for the spirit and the body. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.

RURAL ZAMBIA, NOVEMBER 2010: A young boy bathes in a small stream outside his village in Rural Zambia, 2 November 2010. This is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene and is also the daily water source for billions. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. As overpopulation increases, this resource is increasingly threatened. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

GUWAHATI, BANGLADESH, AUGUST 2008: A rural woman washes clothes in an age old ritual outside her village in rural Bangladesh, 8 August 2008. This is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

ANTSIRABE, MADAGASCAR, NOVEMBER 2003: A young girl bathes in a small stream outside her village, Madagascar, November 23, 2003. This ancient practise is how the majority of rural people around the world practise daily hygiene. These streams and rivers are also where most get their drinking water. The safeguarding of this resource is vital to the well-being of literally billions of people around the world. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportge by Getty Images.)

DJA, CAMEROON, MARCH 2010: Young village boys bathe in a local water source, a source threatened by mass logging in the region. For the majority of people around the world, rivers and streams continue to be the key to hygiene and clean drinking water. Our destruction of the environment threatens this way of life for billions of people. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

RUMANGABO, EASTERN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, MARCH 2012: Women and children fetch water from a newly contructed tap system built by the ICCN Congolese Conservation authority on the outskirts of Virunga National Park, DRC, 13 March 2012. This facility means the women and children no longer have to walk 6 kilometers to springs higher on the mountain. This has improved productivity, water quality and safety for the women. In addition to this project ICCN has constructed more than 30 schools, water points and hydro-elecric schemes, all part of a concerted effort to building understanding and appreciation for the park in the minds of local communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Getty Images.)

BOLGATANGA, GHANA, AUGUST 2003: A young woman fetches water from a swamp area 4 miles from her village, she makes this trip at least once a day seven days a week, Bolgatanga, Ghana, 20 August 2003. It takes a large part of her day and prevents her from other forms of employment, ongoing education and real participation in village life. Water is a gender issue, with women at the forefront across the majority world. As long as women have to deal with this burden they can never reach their full potential. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LAISAMIS, MARSABIT SOUTH, NORTH KENYA: Rendille women collect water from a well at the new Manyata Koya, a relocated village which moved 42 kilometers from the original Koya in 1992 due to heavy cattle raiding and fighting with the Borana tribe, North of Kenya, 27 February 2010. The collection of water remains the responsibility of women in most rural communities. The time this takes on a daily basis prevents them from ever fullfilling their potential. A great deal of the fighting for cattle and grazing rights in the region can be linked to the droughts in the region and the pressure that has placed on pastoralists. (Photo by Brent Stirton/ Reportage by Getty Images.)

MESSALO, MOZAMBIQUE, NOVEMBER 2009: Young girls collect water from a hand-pump in rural Mozambique, 2 November 2009. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NAKURU, KENYA, DECEMBER 2009: Two women use donkeys to transport water from a pool built with the help of community funding in a rural part of Kenya, Nakuru, 11 December 2009. The distance these women have to travel for water has been halved and their water is of a far higher quality as it travels through a natural filter system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

NAKURU, KENYA, DECEMBER 2009: Schoolgirls transport water to their school from a pool built with the help of community funding in a rural part of Kenya, Nakuru, 11 December 2009. This water source makes the school these girls attend possible to run. The water is used for both drinking and to run the toilet system. The distance these girls have to travel for water has been halved and their water is of a far higher quality as it travels through a natural filter system. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LUANDA, ANGOLA, NOVEMBER 2009: Local people living in a poor part of Luanda, Angola, make their way to a local water pump to secure water for their day, 5 November 2009. Most will make this journey twice every day, consuming valuable time that could be used productively elsewhere. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KIBERA SLUM, NAIROBI, KENYA, AUGUST 2008: Men pour raw sewerage into a polluted stream in Kibera slum, Nairobi 18 August 2008. Urban drift now means that in the last 5 years more people live in cities than in rural areas worldwide. Many of these people are unskilled and crowded into slums without adequate clean water access. There is little viable sewerage disposal or adequate hygience facility. As a result the outbreak of disease is common and traditional water supply for cities is increasingly under threat from these slum communities. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

LUANDA, ANGOLA, NOVEMBER 2009: A water seller in a poor neighbourhood which has just received a new water pump and is no longer in need of his expensive services, Luanda, Angola, 6 November 2009. People living in slums around the world often do not have access to free or reasonably priced water. The extra money they pay for water from water merchants could be used to improve their circumstances and the lives of their children. In many places it is a choice between money for school feels and books or money for water. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MID-RAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2010: Young schoolgirls rehearse for a dance routine in celebration of their schools new water facilities, Midrand, South Africa, 30 October 2010. The new water tank in the background has ensured the students can attend school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2009: Schoolgirls skip rope in front of their new toilet blocks at a Midrand school in South Africa, 29 October 2009. Access to clean water for drinking purposes and for toilets increases school attendence worldwide and improves the health of students. It also dramatically increases the attendence of girls who are experiencing their period once a month to have a proper toilet facility at school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MIDRAND, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2009: Students queue up for water at their new taps at a Midrand school in South Africa, 29 October 2009. These taps have been made possible by corporate sponsorship of local NGO's. Access to clean water for drinking purposes and for toilets increases school attendence worldwide and improves the health of students. It also dramatically increases the attendence of girls who are experiencing their period once a month to have a proper toilet facility at school. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KISUMU, KENYA, NOVEMBER 2009: Boys at a high school in rural Kenya queue up with water containers to receive water from their schools new water tank, Kisumu, Kenya, 13 November 2009. Access to a regular and clean water source makes for a far less disruptive school experience for students, grades improve and there is far less sickness to disrupt their studies. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

EL MINYA, EGYPT, NOVEMBER 2009: A young women in a slum close to El Minya experiences having a water tap in her home for the first time after corporate sponsorship of a local NGO made this possible, El Minya, Egypt, 11 November 2009. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

EL MINYA, EGYPT, NOVEMBER 2009: A young boy in a slum close to El Minya experiences his first shower after corporate sponsorship of a local NGO made water lines and new plumbing possible, 11 November 2009. (Photo By Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: An old women fetches water from a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border, Megma, Nepal, November 1, 2003. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: A village man checks the fog-harvesting nets producing water for a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog, Megma, Nepal, November 2003. The nets are high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MEGMA, NEPAL, NOVEMBER 2003: A village man checks the fog-harvesting nets producing water for a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapour contained in fog, Megma, Nepal, November 1, 2003. The nets are high in the mountains of Nepal near the Indian border. The fog passes through a netting system on the mountain top. Upon contact it condenses into water vapour droplets. Gravity leads it down the net and into pipes which channel it to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficent water for a school in the village and the local children no longer have to leave for their education. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KASUNGO, MALAWI-JULY 2008: A rural village has taken its water and food security a step further by building a dam for rainwater and then using footpumps and watering cans to get the water to fields to grow maize, Kasungo, Malawi, 14 July 2008. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

KASUNGO, MALAWI-JULY 2008: A rural village has taken its water and food security a step further by building a dam for rainwater and then using footpumps and watering cans to get the water to fields to grow maize, Kasungo, Malawi, 14 July 2008. (photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, MARCH 2008: A worker sweeps out the final stage of the 3rd water tunnel for New York City, 7 March 2008. The Tunnel has been built to allow for maintenance of the 2 existing but aging tunnels. The third tunnel is also far more secure and is a response to the possibility of a threat to the water system of the city. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images.)

MUTWANGA, NORTH KIVU, DRC, FEBRUARY 2012: Kaseraka, 28, a polio victim, sweeps stones away from the main water flow area on a ICCN Virunga Hydro-electric project in Mutwanga, DRC, February 28 2012. Kaseraka is in charge of maintenance for the project and is typical of the disadvantaged community this scheme will benefit. This hydro-electric scheme is the Park's largest community project and will provide electricity to an empoverished community of 25 000 people as well as to schools, a general hospital and an orphanage. The pay off for the park is that the community comes to understand the relationship between healthy forests and healthy water supply as well as vastly improved community relations. Electricity will also be available for industry and that could revolutionise the community, allowing for the retention of the value of Congolese products internally as opposed to constant and expensive imports. (Photo by Brent Stirton/Reportage for Geo Magazine.)

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