Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Water War ?

Colonial era treaties granting rights to water from Nile tributaries to Egypt are leaving Ethiopian farms without access to irrigation. As dry seasons grow longer in the arid plains of Eastern Kenya and Ethiopia, tribal conflict over access to watering holes is on the rise, exacerbated by the proliferation of arms from neighboring Somalia.

While Americans fret over rising gas prices and global tension over oil, the world’s poor are struggling to secure access to another, even more basic resource Water . Water scarcity in East Africa is fueling conflict and thwarting development , it is reported

With clean water access increasingly scarce, the burden of securing a daily water supply has become a daunting task for women and young children who often spend hours a day carrying water for their families from remote locations.

Kenya Water Crisis Looms
A crisis posing a risk to 35,000 people is looming in the north and south-east over water scarcity and pressure on grazing pastures.

"For pastoralist communities, scarcity of water for people signals hunger because livestock, their only source of food and income, are at greater risk," warned Enrico Eminae , ActionAid Coordinator in the north east region . "It also triggers conflict over resources as people from different clans crisscross each others territory in search of pasture and water", he added.

Pastoralists are putting pressure on the neighbouring villages of Darwed, Didkuro and Wangaidahan in search of alternative livelihoods. Pastoralists in southern Ethiopia and western Somalia are even more affected and there is danger of them migrating to Kenya causing stress on already strained resources

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