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HotSpots H2O, May 2: Unclean Water Heightens Disease Risk in Conflict Zones

The Global Rundown

South Sudan hovers on the edge of a widespread cholera epidemic. In Niger, poor sanitation and inadequate water supply spark a Hepatitis E outbreak among refugees displaced by Boko Haram. Progress is underway on a new water treatment plant south of Mosul, Iraq, which will provide clean water for conflict-affected Iraqis. A $US 40 million water management project in Peru seeks to guarantee the country’s water security through measures such as conflict resolution. Ongoing protests in Tamil Nadu, India attempt to draw attention to the state’s acute water shortage.

“With the arrival of summer, water consumption across Iraq will spike and we are now in a better position to provide enough water per person in the Airstrip.” –Thomas Wilson, coordinator of the Danish Refugee Council’s WASH program, in reference to a new water treatment plant being built south of Mosul, Iraq at the Qayyarah Airstrip Emergency Site. Once completed, the plant will provide clean water to 50,000 Iraqis who have fled fighting in Mosul. Relief Web

By The Numbers

240,000 Refugees residing in the Diffa region of southeastern Niger. Conflict between Boko Haram and local militias has led to an influx of displaced people throughout the region. As refugee camps become overcrowded, access to clean water and proper sanitation is becoming limited, prompting outbreaks of Hepatitis E and other diseases. Doctors Without Borders

$US 40 million World Bank loan to Peru meant to improve the country’s water management. The project, “Integrated Management of Water Resources in 10 Basins of Peru” seeks to mitigate natural disasters and improve the health and safety of 3.8 million Peruvians. Conflict resolution and dam safety are among the project’s objectives. Relief Web

In context: Learn more about the “coastal El Nino” that caused flooding and mudslides throughout Peru last month.

Science, Studies, And Reports

Recent data released by the Central Water Commission of India shows that reservoirs in the state of Tamil Nadu hold 81% less water than average. Tamil Nadu’s water crises is deepening after two failed monsoons and increasing political tensions over the Cauvery River. Protests to draw attention to the crisis took place over the weekend. Last year, protests related to the Cauvery River dispute turned violent. Scroll

In context: Learn more about how water scarcity is roiling the Cauvery Delta.

On The Radar

Access to clean drinking water is becoming increasingly limited in South Sudan, which could lead to a widespread cholera outbreak. In the past year, more than 5,000 cases have been detected across the country, all in highly populated IDP camps. The disease may begin to spread more rapidly as conflict continues. Relief Web

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