The livelihoods of Mongolia’s inhabitants have long been jeopardized by repeated natural hazards associated with a harsh environment and a cold and arid climate. Dzud is a Mongolian word denoting harsh winter conditions. The impacts of such hazards often vary considerably, even across adjoining areas. Given this situation, this study aimed to identify the social factors accounting for local differences between Taragt and Nariinteel Counties of Ovorkhangai Province during the 2009-2010 dzud using zoo-meteorological data and socioeconomic data obtained from interviewed herders. The results revealed much lower livestock mortalities in Nariinteel, despite its more severe climatic conditions. The social factors associated with reduced mortalities corresponded to the following actions taken by the herders in relation to the seasonal sequence of movements from summer to winter. These included: (1) conducting frequent and regular long-distance seasonal movements; (2) using pasturelands with a lower overgrazing rate measured in the summer; (3) promoting livestock sales and preparation of winter forage stock; (4) delaying movement to the winter camping site to ensure sufficient winter pasture; and (5) selecting warmer, middle, and lee sides of mountains for winter camp and shelter sites. These findings suggest that proactive herding management entailing careful consideration of local natural and marketing conditions will provide an efficient countermeasure for reducing dzud-induced damage.
Recently, rapid land desertification has been disturbing the steppe grassland of Inner Mongolia. A lot of researches reported that excessive farm land development is a major cause of desertification. However, the study areas of most previous studies on farm land development in Inner Mongolia were in larger area such as the whole area of Inner Mongolia or Horqin region. In these studies, when, where and how did the farmland develop were not specifically indicated. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to clarify the 120 years history and characteristics of the agricultural land development in one selected village located at Inner Mongolia’s semi-farming semi-animal husbandry region and is the smallest administrative district. For the study method, we interviewed for the history of the farmland development, estimated the degree of soil erosion, collected information data (i.e. the records by the village council’s person in charge, the records of household account and history data) and combined with the analyzed the satellite images. The findings are as the following: 1) With the self-sufficiency policy of food in 1960 which prohibited the exchange and trade of agricultural products, cultivating area was expanding from the fertile land around the lake to the hilly area though not suitable for cultivation. The village area expanded about 4.1 percent; 2) In 1980s, under the guidance of local government, the villagers made artificial pasture and fences for personal used to increase the productivity of grazing. As a result, the village area was further expanded for another 21.2 percent. 3) In 2000s, because of the modernization of agricultural technology, such as irrigation equipment and agricultural machines, and support from the country, such as subsidies for agricultural machines and arable land, farmland development was proceeded inside the windbreak forest, economical forest and ecological restoration project site, which further expanded 43.4 percent of the village area. 4) The types of crop were changed from drought-resistant crops such as foxtail millet, proso millet and sorghum to corn, watermelon and sunflower which require a large amount of water. In another words, the agriculture has changed from rain-fed agriculture to irrigated agriculture. These large-scale farm land development causes various impacts: 1) The impacts on the environment were soil erosion, depletion of groundwater, and salts accumulation of land. 2) The impact on the livelihood of the villagers were the disappearance of the traditional nomadic culture and a reduction in income among the inhabitants who lost their land. Therefore, the government of China suggested that other than strengthening the protection of the grassland and to ensure a sustainable farmland, it is urgently required to improve the optimization of farmland development. With present situation of excessive farm land development, adjusting the functional system to optimize the cultivation area per household or per capita in “Semi-farming semi-animal husbandry” region is necessary.
Starting from 1999, JICA spent 5 years implementing technical cooperation in Tanzania for the establishment of the ‘SUA method’ - an approach to endogenous development in rural areas. Until today, the activities and projects that had been promoted with the ‘SUA method’ are still actively maintained by local communities of the project sites. In search of the major factor that led to this progress, face-to-face interviews are conducted with JICA experts who participated in the project, with a main focus on case studies of “agents of bridging” - for people, organizations or collective memories that create a bridge between different parties involved in the project. The research shows that various types of “agents of bridging” played a critical role in the promotion of “endogenous development”. In addition to bringing empowerment to local residents themselves, the roles and responsibilities of “agents of bridging” became widely appreciated and fully absorbed by the regional community as the project develops.
Original Article of Special Reports: Impending Issues on Water Resource in Arid Region and Countermeasures
Securing stable water resource is most important issue in arid region under the extension of desertification caused by the global climate change. However, the available amount of surface water resource has been gradually reducing while the constructions of the reservoirs continued from 1950s’. Low vegetation of catchment area causes the severe soil erosion by eventual rainfall and suspended solid transported by stream flow is settled in the reservoirs. This sediment accumulation in reservoirs reduces available surface water resources. Currently 97% of suitable site for dam construction in our study site, Tunisia, has already been developed or planed, so that the alternative water resource covering the lost by sedimentation cannot be expected. There is no other way than managing the existing reservoirs. However, dredging, simplest countermeasure against sedimentation in reservoirs has not been carried out because it is quite costly for Tunisia.
On the other hand, Tunisia has the problem of groundwater contamination with fluoride. Adequate concentration of fluoride gives reduction of tooth decay, but the higher concentration than 2 ppm causes dental and skeletal fluorosis. Some towns and villages e.g. vicinities of Kairouan, Beja, Gabes are suffering from this water-related disease. The author and the colleagues writing the following papers study about the management of sedimentation in reservoirs and processing clayey sediment to functional ceramics for water treatment including economical point of view. Lives of the reservoirs are extended by the excavation of the sediment. Create the new industry based on the use of waste (sediment) from surface water resource. New environmental material contributes improvement of quality of drinking water for villagers. The area suffering from fluoride contamination is not only in Tunisia, spreading all over the world. The expected products will also contribute improvement of other African countries under such water quality situation.
Sediment occupies the storage capacity of reservoirs and reduces the sustainability of the surface water resource. The countermeasure is simply dredging, but it has not been carried out due to financial reasons, especially in developing countries. One of the solutions is to convert the sediment into a valuable commodity. In this study, fabrication of a vessel for water purification filter using sediment in Joumine reservoir as raw ceramic powders, was attempted. Adaptability of the sediment in Joumine reservoir in Tunisia as a ceramic raw material was confirmed by x-ray diffraction analysis. The best sintering temperature was 900°C from the viewpoint of density, porosity and crystal structure. A slip casting was successfully applied to make a green body using the sediments. However, large shrinkage of the green body was observed because the sediment powders are fine. When 30 % of Tunisia sand with the size of 50-100 μm was added to the slurry, reduction of shrinkage of the green body was achieved. Therefore, upsizing and fabrication of complex shapes become possible. Suitable sintering condition was 900°C for more than 1 hour. The sintered body was well-densified and prevented water immersion. It indicates possibility that sediments in Joumine reservoir in Tunisia is usable as a vessel of water purification filter.
Fluoride concentrations in well water in Sri Lanka and Tunisia were measured with the intention to elucidate the adverse effect of excess intake of fluoride on human health. According to the survey, dental fluorosis was found to be prevalent in both of the countries. An electrolysis system, in which fluoride is removed by a co-precipitation with magnesium hydroxide in the cathode bath, was proposed in the current study. High concentration of magnesium generally contained in the well water of Sri Lanka and Tunisia enables the electrolysis system to remove fluoride without any additional chemicals. In addition, chlorine generated by the electrolysis in the anode bath can be used as a disinfectant. A pilot scale plant installed at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, which was operated with a flow rate of 120L/day, proved that 67% of fluoride was removed from the well water.
Fluoride in the water environments is one of the important issues for arid lands. In this paper, we described estimation of removal fluoride of functional materials made from bone that generated as waste from food industries. We selected two type of materials as follows; chicken bone char (CBC) that was obtained by calcination of chicken bone, and dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD) that produced from wastewater treatment of gelatin production from bone. We found that removal of fluoride by the CBC was affected by not only hydroxyapatite as inorganic phase of bone, but also carbon state derived from bone collagen. In case of DCPD, removal amount of fluoride was effective to react with fluoride ion to form stable fluoraptatie (FAp) by addition of calcium carbonate with the DCPD. We found that usage of DCPD was able to remove fluoride ion in the water environments for 10% of amounts and 5 % of cost compared with usage of the CBC. These results are able to contribute safety water usage in the arid land area by developments of novel functional materials.
In this paper, we described development and evaluation of simple color analysis using smart device such as smart phone and tablet as color analyzer. We try to determine nitrate ion by combination with naphthylethylenediamine colorimetric method. As a result, 0.1 to 2.0 ppm of nitrate ion could be determined by proposed method. Moreover, the proposed method shows same performance compared with commercial portable type of color analyzer. The proposed method was able to be realized not only simplification of analytical instrument, but also display analytical date on map. By use of this function, distribution of concentration is able to be easily measured. These results indicate that the proposed smart device color analyzer is able to contribute water environment in the arid land area.
A water quality measurement application on smart devices was developed. The smart devices such as smart phones, tablets are available as water quality measurement sensor because they have a camera, location sensor (GPS) and network devices. The devices are widely spread on the world, that’s why researcher can get water quality data around the world without traveling target areas. An application software is required to equip these functions on the devices. The Android application was developed in the study because the Android devices dominate the smart device market on the world. The colorimetry method was used as a simple and easy observation method for water quality because the target of observer by the devices is general people. The study introduces the detecting method of fluorine concentration by the smart device and by an artificial intelligence (AI) method.