Tamilnadu has suffered from a drought period this year from the April till July. At some point, the state government even had to bring water by train to Chennai to respond to this emergency. Even if heavy rainfall has occurred in other areas since then, there is still scarcity of water in Chennai.
A similar situation, at an even larger scale, is observable in the Sahel Region (Burkina Faso) for several years. A decrease in the level of the water table has put in peril agricultural and animal production, making the populations vulnerable both nutritionally and socio-economically.
At the beginning, actions of the Cuomo Foundation were conducted within the framework of its primary field of action: Education. But, with the aggravation of the precarious living conditions of the populations, these actions have embraced other areas of concern.
As a precautionary measure, Cuomo Foundation has taken strenuous efforts in India to teach children the importance of saving water in schools (7 compounds welcoming 5 000 students each year), while implementing rain water harvesting in those compounds.
In Burkina Faso, (Gorom-Gorom and the nearby village of Tin-Akoff) the borewells and sanitation centres allow the communities to have access to safe and local fresh water supplies. These actions have also enabled the local farmers and their livestock to benefit and thrive. In all, 20 borwells have been constructed or rehabilitated, helping more than 17 000 people.
Further to these actions responding to urgent and vital problems, the Cuomo Foundation invests for the future through scientific research. In 2013, the Cuomo Foundation joined the IPCC scholarship programme supporting PhD students working on climate change issues (16 theses supported to date).