What if people refuse others the access to safe drinking water ?

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Thousands die in Yemen in fights over water

by Rehab Abd Almohsen

“The conflict in Yemen is exacerbating water scarcity by reducing access to safe drinking water. If urgent action is not taken, the country will fall into further humanitarian crisis.” by Fawzi Karajeh, FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa

Speed read

  • Up to 4,000 people die each year in fights over scarce water resources
  • The civil war means around 20 million people are without clean drinking water
  • Solar power could pumps working during power cuts, but this adds to depletion problems

Clashes over water are killing up to 4,000 people a year in Yemen, its government says.

These conflicts, which predate the country’s civil war, include raids on wells and other fights over water access involving armed groups, according to Yemen’s interior ministry.

This compares with more than 2,500 deaths so far in the civil war that began in March and involves an alliance led by Saudi Arabia fighting supporters of Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former president who was ousted in 2012.

According to a regional representative of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the civil war has left around 20 million Yemenis without access to drinking water.

“With the current conflict, the number of people that don’t have access to clean water is believed to be more than 80 per cent of the population,” says Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, who represents the FAO’s Near East and North Africa region.

Yemen has the highest water scarcity in the world, he says, with more than half the population lacking a regular supply of drinking water even before the fighting began.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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