Global climate change and rapid population growth are already taxing the limits of Yemen’s water resources. Additionally, factors such as the booming Qat narc0-agricultural industry and poor water management practices are even further strain.
“It is a collapse with social, economic and environmental aspects,” said Abdul Rahman al-Eryani, Yemen’s minister of water and environment. “We are reaching a point where we don’t even know if the interventions we are proposing will save the situation.” Making matters far worse is the proliferation of qat trees, which have replaced other crops across much of the country, taking up a vast and growing share of water, according to studies by the World Bank. The government has struggled to limit drilling by qat farmers, but to no effect. The state has little authority outside the capital, Sana.
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