The human race in its quest to accumulate more wealth and protect its own seems to have
extremely short attention spans. Yesterday’s newspaper headlines and images displaying
war torn lives in Iraq and Afghanistan are today’s chip wrappers. Compassion and concern
surely cannot function for a season?
Does It not seem that bombarded by a constant slide show of desperate images we either
become apathetic to the suffering or simply move our emotive response from one crisis to
the next? How do we even decide, or prioritise which tragedy deserves more attention,
Yemen this week, Haiti the next? Whatever our attitude, the truth is these problems are only
getting worse day by day.
Water crisis Yemen
UN-designated World Water Day, on 22nd March, is an annual reminder that despite
advances in technology, many countries around the world are still suffering from a
deprivation of fresh water. Yemen and many other Arab countries are amongst those
suffering the most. The crisis is made worse by the sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the
pollution of groundwater and random drilling of artesian wells.
“The amount of water wasted using traditional irrigation systems on crops has reached more
than 90 per cent of the total consumption,” he explained. “The sources of pollution include
sewage and rubbish dumps. These contain multiple and dangerous pollutants that rain water
washes into the groundwater reserves.”
Yemenis endure a daily struggle in search of the most fundamental gift of life, water, most of
them women and children. Malnourished and often COVID sick people use plastic
containers to carry the precious commodity . Twelve-year-old Ahmed lives in Al-Sharqi, a
village in the Abs district of Hajjah Governorate. “The water that reaches my village is
polluted and unfit for drinking,” he told Anadolu. “It is very salty.”
Prospects for change?
Like thousands of other Yemenis, Ahmed’s family suffers from the lack of water, and spend
much of their precious time just seeking it . The water crisis exacerbates their difficulties to
function, fight off sickness and work in a prosperous way. The UN has described this as the
world’s “worst” humanitarian crisis due to the seemingly never ending war on Yemen. How is
it possible with modern water purification methods such a scenario is able to continue? What
accountability do UN nations have for such a crisis to end this status quo