The Stream, September 12: Global HotSpots Edition

The Global Rundown

Overcrowded refugee camps on Greece’s eastern Aegean islands struggle to provide adequate water and sanitation to the displaced. Cholera spreads through the Congo’s Grand Kasai region, where 1.4 million are displaced due to violence. Water shortages spark an increase in human-animal conflicts in Tamil Nadu, India. War and drought in East Africa are preventing millions of children from attending school. Residents of Tacuba, El Salvador fight for ownership of their community-built well system.

“They’ve treated us like terrorists for defending the human right to water.” –José Gabriel Amaya, a resident of Tacuba, El Salvador, in reference to a legal battle over the town’s right to its own water system. In 1995, after years of neglect by the Salvadorian government, the Tacuba community came together to install water infrastructure which had been donated by international aid groups. Recently, the town’s mayor has attempted to seize and appropriate the water system, sparking a legal battle over who has the right to oversee the Tacuba system. NACLA

By The Numbers

3,695 Number of refugees who arrived on Greece’s eastern Aegean islands in August, compared to 2,249 in July. The unexpected increase in arrivals is leading to cramped, unsanitary living conditions, leaving some refugees with limited access to water and sanitation. More than half of the refugees come from war-torn areas of Syria and Iraq. UN News Centre

185 Number of people who died during human-animal conflicts in Tamil Nadu, India between 2013 and 2016. This summer, as drought-like conditions gripped the state, water shortages drove even more conflict among humans and various animals, including elephants, leopards, and wild boar. New Indian Express

In context: Choke Point: Tamil Nadu

Science, Studies, And Reports

A dangerous mix of war and drought is preventing many children in East Africa from attending school, according to a recent report by the Norwegian Refugee Council. Millions of children from Burundi, the Congo, South Sudan, and Somalia left their homes to escape violence, water shortages, starvation, or a combination of all three. Now the children live in overcrowded camps with little opportunity for education. Relief Web

On The Radar

At least 528 people have reportedly died in a cholera epidemic that is spreading through the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although outbreaks of waterborne diseases occur frequently in the Congo, the most recent epidemic is of special concern due to the high number of internally displaced people. Nearly 1.4 million Congolese have fled violence in the central Kasai region, and most are living without adequate sanitation or water availability. Reuters