HotSpots H2O, April 11: South Sudanese Refugees Flee to Uganda

The Global Rundown

Uganda struggles to provide food, water, and shelter as thousands of refugees flee violence in South Sudan. Islamic State fighters deliberately destroyed the Quba Pump Station in East Mosul, cutting off the water supply of nearly a million Iraqis. Water crisis may be brewing between Israel and Palestine, where political tension and water mismanagement are leaving many Palestinians thirsty. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hopes for an “early solution” in a river-sharing dispute with Bangladesh. In order to keep the peace along East Africa’s borders, nations of the region must find a way to resolve water disputes among pastoralists.

“Access to safe drinking water is a fundamental right for all individuals, but in an area like East Mosul that is currently hosting tens of thousands of IDPs from West Mosul and other areas, a lack of access to clean water is also a question of dignity and a potential public health risk that must be addressed with the utmost urgency.” –Ed Hughes, an official of the Danish Refugee Council, in reference to the water crisis unfolding in East Mosul. As the Iraqi army retakes Mosul, Islamic State militants have begun targeting key water infrastructure such as the Quba Pump Station. Parts of the station, which provided water to over 800,000 Iraqis, were flooded and burned by IS. Relief Web

By The Numbers

34 years  Length of time that India and Bangladesh have been negotiating usage rights of the Teesta River. Traditionally, Bangladesh has received a minority of the Teesta’s waters, but is now pushing for a 50 percent share. Over the weekend, Indian Prime Minister Modi reached out to Bangladeshi officials in hopes that an “early solution” to the dispute could be reached. The Times of India

70 liters  Amount of water the average Palestinian uses per day, versus 280 liters by Israelis. Negligence by the Palestinian Authority and interference by the Israeli army have led to water shortages throughout Palestine. Further tensions over water management could push the region into crisis. Lifegate

Science, Studies, And Reports

In the past week, over 6,000 refugees have arrived in Uganda after fleeing violent attacks in South Sudan. The United Nations reports that host communities and aid agencies are attempting to provide food, water, and shelter, but are faced with inadequate resources due to chronic under-funding. UN News Centre

In context: Learn more about East Africa’s ongoing refugee crisis.

On The Radar

Conflict between East African pastoralists continues to flare as the region’s water supply dwindles. Many of these clashes happen in borderlands, leading to tension between neighboring countries. A resolution mechanism for pastoralist disputes may be needed to keep peace in the region. Citizen Digital

Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter