The Relentless 3-year Drought in Parts of East Africa Has Turned Water into a Highly-Contested Resource

Villagers in Somalia now routinely speak of events like the “war of the well” and refer to the “warlords of water”—those who control access to scarce water as a result of their violent and unscrupulous tactics. An estimated 11 million people across East Africa are affected by disastrous drought that has killed large numbers of livestock and triggered many local conflicts over water. The effects of the drought are most pronounced in Somalia, where harvests are the worst in 10 years, and an estimated 2.1 million people are in need of emergency aid.

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Emily Wax, “Dying for Water in Somalia’s Drought,” Washington Post, 14 April 2006.