Yemen

Water scarcity in Yemen: the country's forgotten conflict

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The capital Sana’a might run out of water as soon as 2017, but what feasible solutions exist with the country on the brink of war?

Frederika Whitehead

Yemen’s political troubles are in the news right now. Houthi rebels from the north of the country ousted president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi (who was only elected after the Arab Spring uprisings in 2012) in February. A Saudi-led coalition began an aerial campaign at the end of March, and have pledged to continue the air strikes until they achieve their objective of rescuing Hadi’s government.

But the headlines do not reveal the part that water plays in this crisis:13 million Yemenis – 50% of the population – struggle daily to find or buy enough clean water to drink or grow food. As a result 14.7 million Yemenis currently depend on humanitarian aid.

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