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More Water Stress: An Ingredient For Conflict

More Water Stress: An Ingredient For Conflict

Water can be associated with many historical conflicts. These conflicts were mainly about scarce water resources. The construction of dams has also been, and will continue to be, a driver of conflict. Both between riparian states, and between governments and the people living in the affected areas.

Oxfam International

Migrated out of drylands

"The revelation shows water shortages, one of the most dangerous challenges the world faces, is far worse previously than thought. This causes migration."

According to World Economic Forum, water crisis is rated as one of the three great risks of harm to people and economy in the next decade, on par with climate change and migration.

Between 2000 and 2010, around 40 million people are estimated to have migrated out of drylands, most of them in Asia. Migration from rural areas to cities can be associated with population growth, environmental degradation, increased water stress and a lack of perspective. The perceived opportunities in cities pull young people from economically less developed regions. Living conditions will deteriorate, especially in the drier areas of the world.

Severe drought in the Horn of Africa 

"Drought is ravaging the continent of Africa. Droughts in Africa have been increasing in severity and frequency. Villagers will have to transport water to their homes over longer distances"

With multiple consecutive years of poor rains, dry spells and drought, including the El Niño-induced drought in 2015/16, there has been little to no recovery among affected households. Immediate and massive efforts are needed to save lives and livelihoods and prevent the loss of development gains made in the region in recent years.

In a study of 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, UNICEF estimated that women spent 16 million hours collecting water every day. In a recent study in Kenya, women reported spending an average of 4.5 hours fetching water per week, causing 77% to worry about their safety while fetching and preventing 24% from caring for their children.

Anita Ritenur

Famine in Africa

A severe drought is causing increasing hunger across Africa, affecting 10 million people in four countries. Famine is a harsh reality for millions of people living there.

In Niger, the worst-affected country, 7.1 million are hungry, with nearly half considered highly food insecure because of the loss of livestock and crops, coupled with a surge in prices.

Children whose foreheads have been marked by a cross to denote that they are likely to survive, wait with their mother for food and medical attention at a camp for drought-victims in Ethiopia.

Drought in Africa: Ethiopia