The Global Rundown

The city of Damascus, Syria remains without water a month after the city’s main water source was damaged. Drought in Kenya is causing migration to neighboring countries, creating tension with South Sudan, which is struggling to provide water to its own citizens. The United Nations warns of famine in Somalia as low rainfall and intense conflict continue. Farmers in Karnataka, India are intensifying their demands for a water diversion project. Fighting over natural resources in Darfur, Sudan threatens the lives of civilians.

We are very concerned that over 5 million people in Damascus have not had access to clean water for a month… Water is life and people need to have this basic human necessity to survive.” –An orthopedic surgeon in Damascus, in reference to the ongoing water crisis in the city. As fighting continues to damage the Ayn al Feeja water facility, concerns over a possible health epidemic increase. Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations

By The Numbers

545 days Length of time farmers in the Indian state of Karnataka have been demanding the implementation of the Mahadayi River Diversion project. On Monday, farmers rallied at the site of the diversion project amidst heightened police presence. Three Indian states — Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra — are competing for water from the Mahadayi River. The New Indian Express

10 million Number of Kenyans who could be affected by worsening drought conditions. Lack of water and grassland has prompted many pastoralists to flee to neighboring countries such as South Sudan. Conditions are equally dire in the areas surrounding Kenya, however, leading to possible conflict as resources diminish. All Africa  

In context: Kenya’s Drought Worsens in the Wake of Below-Average Rainfall from October Through Mid-December

Science, Studies, And Reports

Conflict over land, water, and other natural resources is endangering civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan. According to a United Nations report, many of the 2.6 million displaced people in the region are at risk as communities and armed militias vie for limited resources. In southern Darfur, at least 70 people were killed in the past couple months due to the violence. UN News Centre  

On The Radar

Famine threatens to exacerbate conflict in Somalia, where access to water, food, and healthcare is already limited. The United Nations and other agencies are closely monitoring the situation as indicators of famine, such as rising food prices, emerge. Somalia’s last famine struck in 2011, and more than 100,000 Somalis died before the drought was officially declared. Reuters