PANOS FEATURE STORIES

PREPARING FOR THE GLACIER DISASTERIn a remote corner of the mountain district of Chitral in Pakistan is a settlement of forgotten people. Their homes were destroyed when a glacier lake burst in 2005, burying their village under boulders and rocks. They lost everything in the sudden flood and were taken a kilometre away by local government officials where they put up tents.

Saint Thomas: Hurricane Marilyn

Saint Thomas: damages following Hurricane Marilyn, 1995  / Photo USAF - public domain

 

The producers of the Caribbean’s first radio soap opera to address climate change know a thing or two about extreme weather. Recording for the pilot series of My Island, My Community had to be put on hold after Hurricane Tomas destroyed their offices in St Lucia in November.

ReaganMuseveniPresident Museveni meets President Reagan, Washinton, October 1987 / White House photo - public domain

Football is Uganda’s favourite sport and politicians know the power it has to boost popular opinion. Even the president, Yoweri Museveni, has been known to take to the pitch, especially when elections campaigns are approaching.

UGANDA 2011 ELECTIONSAs millions of Ugandans head to voting booths today, Friday February 18th, the country’s main opposition leader has warned there could be a mass uprising, similar to that in Egypt and across the Middle East, if the poll is rigged.

South Soudan referendum

Voters lining up in Juba, January 9, 2011 / Jenn Warren, USAID Africa Bureau - public domain

In Southern Sudan, preliminary referendum results point to 99 per cent of those polled voting to split from the North. Paul Jimbo has spoken to voters in the Warrap and West Bahr al Ghazal states about their hopes for the future.

FOR 27 YEARS, A PRISONER IN TIBETAma Adhe in front of a photograph of the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, India, home of the Dalai Lama, of the exiled government and of thousands of refugees / David Huang - Students for a Free Tibet

When I was a young girl, Tibet was a free nation. I belong to a region called Kham. It is in the North-east of Tibet. I was not from a rich family but we led a self-sustained, nomadic and happy existence. In the summer, we used take the cattle to the highlands to graze and would play in the flowers that bloomed there. In the winter, we would celebrate festivals.

A BUTCHER IN KAMPALAA butcher in Kampala finds sales hard as the falling value of the Ugandan shilling forces meat outside of many Ugandans' budget / Machrine Birungi - Panos London

From the price of soda, meat and vegetables it may be a smaller celebration for many in 2010 as their shillings drop in value on the global market.

Namibia, KalahariThe Kalahari, Namibia / Elmar Thiel (CC BY-SA 3.0)

“The kids drive me crazy,” laments Ndaafetwa Hifekepunye. “After going through all that trouble to collect rainwater, they open the tap on the tank and spray the water around. If it wasn’t for that the water would last longer.” Then Hifekepunye laughs and asks with a shrug, “What can you do? All children like to play with water.” But her smiles fail to hide a sense of desperation.

INDONESIA'S WARIAS REALITY

A Waria sex worker in Jakarta / Kemal Jufri - Panos Pictures

When Bea became a sex worker in the red light district of Jakarta, Indonesia, she knew she needed to use condoms to protect herself from HIV but her clients refused to use them. Bea, 30, is a waria – a man who has assumed a female identity.

KOLKATTA, INDIA: DANCE THAT HEALSKolkata: women at the International Dance Day celebrations, April 2010 / Ranjita Biswas - Panos London


“Dancing changed my life. For the first time I felt that I was doing something I liked,” recalls 18-year-old Shampa Roy. Shampa, from Kolkata, the capital of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, grew up in shelter homes for girls from the age of five after both her parents died.

In Egypt a controversial new divorce law has just been passed. Some hope women will now be free to divorce. Others point out that poor women may not be able to afford them.

The Egyptian Parliament has finally granted women the right to seek divorce on the grounds of incompatibility – but there is a catch. Women must forfeit their right to alimony and return any dowry. And that means many may not be able to afford the new divorce option.

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