HotSpots H2O, December 26: Yemen Cholera Cases Top 1 Million

The Global Rundown

Egypt’s Foreign Minister plans a trip to Ethiopia as the two countries spar over a multi-billion dollar Nile river dam project. Thousands of Somali refugees return to drought and conflict in their home country after being forced out of Kenya’s Dadaab camp. The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen bypasses 1 million. The UN Secretary-General says the average length of conflicts is increasing and calls water scarcity a “growing concern.” The Donetsk water filtration station remains a target as fighting in eastern Ukraine escalates to the worst level since February.

“As the situation of returnees in Somalia becomes increasingly desperate, large scale returns from Dadaab are simply not viable.” –Chairman Mohamed, Head of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International, in reference to thousands of Somali refugees who were pressured to return to Somalia when the Kenyan government announced it was closing its Dadaab camp. The returnees are now facing drought, starvation, and renewed displacement as instability in Somalia continues. Amnesty International

In context: Drought, Heat, and Conflict Strand Residents of Dadaab

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By The Numbers

1 million Number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen, according to the most recent Red Cross update. The waterborne disease has killed at least 2,226 people and continues to spread throughout the war-torn country. BBC

In context: Clean Water Runs Out and Yemen Hovers on Edge of Another Epidemic

4,184 miles Length of the Nile River, stretching from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean, that provides water and commerce to Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. Ethiopia’s recent construction of a multi-billion dollar dam has caused dissent with Egypt and Sudan, who fear the project could hurt their water supply. Egypt’s Foreign Minister plans to visit Ethiopia next week for further talks on the dam. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Today’s conflicts are lasting more than 20 years on average and often involve multiple groups competing for control of government, natural resources, or territory, according to a report by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. The UN chief also referred to water scarcity as a “growing concern” and climate change as a “threat multiplier.” ABC News

On The Radar

Violence in eastern Ukraine has escalated to the worst levels since February, according to local officials. Much of the shelling has been near the Donetsk water filtration station, which already been damaged several times during the conflict and houses a system of chlorine gas pipes. Reuters

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