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COVID-19, climate change aggravate water scarcity in Nile Basin

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A new interactive map has shown how water scarcity in the Nile Basin is compounded in times of COVID-19 and climate change.

The map was produced by a collaborative group of journalists in the Nile Basin, including some from Vision Group, under their InfoNile network.

The interactive map pinpoints the areas most vulnerable to changing rainfall and runoff patterns - factors that contribute to droughts and floods - and those that are already facing water scarcity.

Vulnerable communities are even more at risk when faced with droughts and floods that destroy water and sanitation infrastructure.

Annika McGinnis, InfoNile's data journalism mentor, says to measure access to water, the network mapped data from the Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys showing the percentage of households with access to an improved water source, such as piped water, protected wells, springs or boreholes, and rainwater collection.

She also notes that to measure rainfall and runoff, the network mapped data from the UN-run Flood and Drought Monitor showing historical rainfall/runoff data starting from the year 2000 and climate change projections data for 2020-2035.

Check out the interactive map HERE.

InfoNile, a geojournalism network of over 500 journalists in the Nile basin, worked with 32 journalists from nine Nile Basin countries to report on their water challenges and solutions in a time of crisis, conducting data-based reporting in partnership with Code for Africa.

Most of the journalists worked in pairs: collaborations between a TV, newspaper or online journalist and a local radio journalist.