HotSpots H2O, November 21: Saudi-Led Import Blockade Leaves 1 Million Yemenis Without Clean Water

The Global Rundown

Nearly 1 million people in Yemen are without clean water as a blockade by a Saudi-led coalition halts the fuel imports needed for pumping. Water scarcity played a key role in ISIS recruitment in Iraq, a report finds. A cholera outbreak among refugees displaced by Boko Haram continues to emerge in northeast Nigeria. The U.S. Supreme Court schedules oral arguments in an ongoing Texas-New Mexico water dispute over the Rio Grande. Libya fails to supply basic amenities or sanitation services to thousands of detained migrants.

“With imports of fuel and other essential goods at a standstill for the past ten days, three Yemeni cities had to stop providing clean water in recent days, putting close to one million people at risk of a renewed cholera outbreak and other water-borne diseases.” –A statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross, in reference to an import blockade that began on November 6 and has halted water and sewage systems in the cities of Hodeidah, Saada, and Taiz. Other cities, including the capital Sanaa, are expected to be in a similar situation soon. Reuters

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

U.S. Government Releases First Global Water Strategy. – Report identifies water priorities in foreign policy.

Risks Grow for Deadliest U.S. Drinking Water Hazard. – Reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease are surging upwards.

By The Numbers

20,000 Number of migrants being held in EU-backed Libyan detention centers. The detainees, who have fled conflict, persecution, and poverty in Africa and Asia, are being denied basic necessities and have no access to functioning toilets. The appalling conditions are “an outrage to humanity,” according to UN human rights leader Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein. UN News Centre

40,000 Number of Nigerians who have benefitted in recent weeks from toilet rehabilitation, clean water deliveries, and a waterborne disease information campaign. Humanitarian agencies are ramping up water aid to northeastern Nigeria as cholera cases spread among the 2 million people displaced by Boko Haram. Relief Web

Science, Studies, And Reports

Chronic water shortages played a role in ISIS recruitment throughout Iraq, according to a recently-published National Geographic report based on over 100 interviews with farmers and agricultural officials. The report, which notes that ISIS seems to have attracted more recruits from water-deprived communities, warns that renewed drought in the country could lead to more recruitment. National Geographic

On The Radar

The U.S. Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments for January 8 in a long-time dispute between Texas and New Mexico over management of the Rio Grande. Texas brought the case before the Supreme Court in 2013 in an attempt to stop New Mexico from pumping groundwater along the border. KRWG

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