The Stream, May 26, 2020: 3 Billion People Are Unable to Wash Their Hands at Home, Charity Group Estimates

The Global Rundown

Charity group WaterAid estimates that 3 billion people worldwide are unable to wash their hands at home. Colorado’s wettest day in months eases drought conditions. Officials report that Midland’s water system is safe following two dam breaches last week. Water cuts spark protests in southwest Iran. Cocoa crops in the Ivory Coast falter mid-season amid low rainfall.

“If the plantations are not well-watered with rain in June, the harvest will be pretty weak by the end of the mid-crop.” –Desire N’Da, a farmer in the Abengourou region of the Ivory Coast, in reference to a drought that has left the country’s cocoa crop struggling. The Ivory Coast is the world’s top cocoa producer and is in the midst of its March through October rainy season, but recent dry weather is threatening to disrupt the country’s cocoa harvest. Reuters 

Latest WaterNews from Circle of Blue

Country’s Aging Dams, a ‘Sitting Duck,’ Facing a Barrage of HazardsRepairing all the country’s deficient dams could cost $70 billion. Having them fail would come with a far greater price, experts say.

As Pandemic Magnifies Navajo Nation Water Deficit, Coronavirus Funding Questions AriseNavajo Nation president and residents want to use federal Covid-19 funds on water infrastructure. Is that allowed?

By The Numbers

3 billion People worldwide who are unable to wash their hands with soap and water inside their homes, according to data compiled by charity group WaterAid. Experts warn that poor water access increases the risk of contracting Covid-19, although a definitive link between water shortages and the spread of Covid-19 has not been established. Associated Press

In context: ‘This Is the Time to Act Collectively’: Anticipating Coronavirus Spread, Groups Seek to Scale Up Handwashing and Hygiene Efforts

0.94 inches Amount of rainfall recorded at Denver International Airport on Sunday on the wettest day the state has experienced in nearly a year. The abundant rainfall is helping to ease drought conditions in the state, which has gradually been getting drier over the past several months. The Denver Post 

Science, Studies, and Reports

The water system in Midland, Michigan, is reportedly safe following the failure of the Edenville and Sanford Dams last week, an event that deluged parts of mid-Michigan and forced thousands to evacuate their homes. Nearby Hope and Edenville townships remain under a boil water advisory, however, and Midland County is offering free water test kits, noting that households reliant on well water may still be at risk of water contamination. Detroit Free Press 

On the Radar

Protests have broken out in parts of southwestern Iran over water shortages, according to human rights groups and local media. In the Gheizaniyeh district of Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province,  a crowd reportedly blocked a roadway, and a handful of protestors refused to reopen the road when prompted by police. State security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the remaining protestors. Khuzestan Province is plagued by chronic water shortages, and is one of the areas in Iran that is hardest-hit by the coronavirus. The Jerusalem Post

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