HotSpots H2O, May 23: Conditions Deteriorating Rapidly in Drought-Stricken Somalia

The Global Rundown

Drought and insecurity in Somalia are deteriorating “more rapidly than expected,” according to UN officials. A League of Arab States’ conference concluded that proper water management is key to stabilizing the Middle East and North Africa. An additional 200,000 people could be displaced from Mosul, Iraq as fighting moves closer to the Old City district. Human-animal conflict increases as groundwater diminishes in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. After years of conflict over natural resources, water scarcity is uniting communities in North Darfur, Sudan.

“These animals stay for some time and go back to their original habitats when rains begin.” –Indian farmer Sarvottam Naidu, in reference to surprising numbers of wild animals roaming into villages in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana during India’s dry summer months. Elephants, monkeys, hyenas, and other animals leave their habitats in search of resources, often endangering villagers and livestock in the process. Environmentalists worry that the problem could get worse as forests are cleared and new infrastructure projects begin. First Post

By The Numbers

$800 million Amount of additional aid needed to address the humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In addition to the risk of starvation, displaced Somalis are also facing an increase in sexual violence as drought continues to destabilize the country. UN News Centre

34 Number of villages participating in a project to improve water management and community relations in North Darfur, Sudan. The program, spearheaded by UN Environment, has helped turn resource scarcity into a tool for peacebuilding instead of a cause for conflict. Relief Web

Science, Studies, And Reports

Over the past week, water management and its affect on regional stability was a key focus at a League of Arab States’ conference on the Sustainable Development Goals. Regional leaders joined World Bank and FAO representatives to review studies and predications about the role of water management in stabilizing the Middle East and North Africa over the next 30 years. Relief Web

On The Radar

Up to 200,000 more civilians in Mosul, Iraq are at risk of displacement as the battle between Iraqi government forces and IS continues to rage through the city. 700,000 have already been displaced in recent months. Many have been without clean drinking water for weeks. UN News Centre