The Stream, June 7: Yemen Cholera Death Toll Spikes 50 Percent

The Global Rundown

More than 600 people have died in a cholera outbreak in Yemen, and World Health Organization officials warn that number could rise further. A conflict between farmers and pastoralists claimed two more lives in Kenya, where a drought has exacerbated longstanding tensions. A new report suggests water privatization is costing England’s households billions of dollars each year. The Adani Group officially announced plans to pursue the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia, which has been opposed over water and climate concerns. The unequal distribution of water is keeping many farmers in poverty in Pakistan’s Sindh province, according to activists.

“Despite [a] very integrated water distribution system that covers the entire province — with the exception of Thar desert and Kacho area — it is mind-boggling to learn that the province is plagued in rural poverty, hunger and malnourishment.” –Mustafa Talpur, a water and environment activist, commenting on the unequal distribution of irrigation water between wealthy and poor farmers in Pakistan’s Sindh province. (The Third Pole)

In context: Hydropower projects spark discord in the Indus River Basin, but water management challenges go deeper.

By The Numbers

50 percent Increase in the death toll from a cholera outbreak in Yemen over the past 10 days, according to the World Health Organization. The illness, spread through contaminated water and food, has claimed 681 lives. Reuters

2 rangers were killed in the Laikipia region of Kenya during a conflict between cattle ranchers and pastoralists. Kenya’s severe drought has been cited as one of the drivers of the violence. Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

Water privatization in England is costing each household an extra $129 each year in water and sewage bills, adding up to $2.9 billion across the country, according to estimates by researchers at the University of Greenwich. The report linked the additional costs to the dividends private companies pay to their shareholders, as well as interest payments they make on debt incurred to finance infrastructure improvements. Financial Times

In context: Touted as one of the world’s most extensive urban water privatization projects, Manila stands out for its innovations and its impasses.

On The Radar

The chairman of the India-based Adani Group announced the company’s commitment to the $16 billion Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland, calling it “the official start of one of the largest single infrastructure – and job creating – developments in Australia’s recent history.” The mine has generated fierce opposition from groups concerned about its effect on carbon emissions and regional water supplies. Guardian