Following devastating news of poisoned children in Afghanistan, reporter Codi Yeager look at water security and conflicts around the globe.
Someone has been poisoning the well — literally. In Afghanistan last week, nearly 400 boys were sickened (80 of which were hospitalized) after drinking their school’s water, and foul play is suspected, CNN reported. It’s not the first time. In April, BBC reported that more than 100 girls were hospitalized after drinking poisoned water at a school in Afghanistan’s northern region.
While the possibility of attackers using open water sources as a weapon poses a significant security risk, diminishing water supplies are expected to create security threats on a global scale. My colleague, Brett Walton, wrote an in-depth analysis of a report released this spring by the U.S. State Department, which predicts that water scarcity could drive global conflict.
But it already has in some places, like Brazil, where an average of 1 person each day is dying due to water conflicts amid the country’s worst drought in 50 years, AFP reported. Other instances of water violence that Circle of Blue has reported include:
- Libya, 2011: Qaddafi loyalists turned off water supplies to half the country.
- Ethiopia and Kenya, 2011: Fighting along the border was spurred by droughts.
- Uganda, 2009: Domestic violence increased due to water shortages.
- China and Tibet, 2008: Protesters and police clashed over resource policy.
Do you know of any other water conflicts happening? Contact Codi Yeager so that we can continue to track this important issue.
Circle of Blue reporter