access to water 7

Beja: Water scarcity threatens agriculture and life itself

As water levels in Tunisia’s dams have fallen, the country itself has fallen below the water poverty line. Water levels in the country’s dams are at a record low in comparison with previous years, at 28.5% of reserve capacity, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Financial Resources. This drop has had a direct impact on agricultural activities and contributed to soaring prices, while also causing interruptions in the supply of water used for irrigation and human consumption.

Tunisia Running Dry

For the past five years Abderrazzak Sibri hasn’t harvested a single olive from the 357 olive trees on his land in Sidi Mahmoud, a rural town in the province of Kairouan (central Tunisia). Sibri had planned to plant more olive trees, but lack of rain, several years of draughts and decreased ground water levels impacted production and changed his plans. “What bothers me most is that I have been investing in these trees,” he says. “When they finally reach the age in which they can produce regularly and abundantly, there is no more water to keep them growing.”

مشروع مجلّة المياه : ولادة قطرة قطرة

أجل البرلمان في جلسته العامة المنعقدة يوم 15 جويلية 2021، النّظر في مشروع مجلّة المياه بعد يوم من الشروع في نقاشه، بعد أن بقي مركونا في الرّفوف ما يُناهز السّنتين. ورغم ورود عديد التعديلات والتوصيات بشأنه، إلاّ أنّ النّسخة المعروضة على الجلسة العامّة لم تحظَ إلى الآن بالإجماع، خاصّة من طرف المنظمات والجمعيات المختصة في مجال المياه.

Water Scarcity Initiative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – to help countries in the region fight hunger and poverty and improve agricultural sustainability

The article presents the situation in Kasserine, but in fact the water problem and challenges are common in most of the countries in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region. Water scarcity is one of the most urgent issues and binding constraints for food security and agricultural development in these countries. Let us look at some striking numbers published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):

Investigation: In Kasserine, Water Woes Drain Locals

After Kairouan in the center of the country and Sejnane in the north, we set out for Kasserine, where the rate of access to potable water for the majority of delegations throughout the governorate is less than the national average, a fact which exacerbates the plight of vulnerable and poor segments of the population with limited access to potable water at best, and nothing more than contaminated drinking water at worst.