The Stream, March 30: Drought-Related Protests Continue in Iran

The Global Rundown

Water shortages continue to spark protests in Iran. The Asian Development Bank gives a $350 million loan to Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, for flood-prevention projects. Kenya plans to sell bonds in order to fund water and sewage projects. Indonesia deploys soldiers to clean the heavily-polluted Citarum River. Chronic drought fuels migration across India, and villagers who are “left behind” face increasing hardships.

“…I thought I would spoil my children’s future if I left as they are going to school and there is government funding for their education. I also thought it might just rain this year.” –Kumar Gwal, a resident of Kharkhara village in Odisha, India, in reference to staying in his village even after his farmland dried up completely. Drought has forced many Indian villagers to migrate to cities, but some–including the elderly and sick–are forced to stay behind in the parched villages. Reuters

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By The Numbers

3,700 Number of Iranians who have been arrested during protests over the past several months. According to analysts, lack of access to safe drinking water is a major driver behind ongoing demonstrations in rural Iran. In recent weeks, farmers have criticized local politicians for allocating water based on bribes. Reuters

In context: HotSpots H2O, February 12: Spotlight on Drought and Unrest in Iran.

60 billion shillings ($594 million) Annual funding gap of Kenya’s water industry. In response, Kenya is turning to the bond market to help finance water and sewage projects. The country hopes to raise as much as 10 billion shillings in water bonds each year. Bloomberg

Science, Studies, And Reports

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to loan $350 million to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to fund flood-prevention projects, according to the Steering Centre for Urban Flood Control (SCFC). The projects, which include canal cleanup and drainage infrastructure, were supposed to be funded by the World Bank, but the funding fell through in November 2017. ReliefWeb

On The Radar

Indonesia has deployed thousands of soldiers to begin cleaning the Citarum River, one of the world’s most polluted waterways. The deployment is part of a government plan to make the Citarum drinkable within seven years. Al Jazeera

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