Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Darfur's environmental crisis

There's so much bad news coming out of the Sudan that nothing new is really surprising, but the scarcity of resources is becoming more and more apparent, meaning a total environmental collapse is nearing.

Women wait as long as three days for water, using jerrycans to save their places in perpetual lines that snake around pumps. A year ago, residents could fill a 5-gallon plastic can in a few minutes, but lately the flow is so slow it takes half an hour.

Water isn't the only endangered resource. Forests were chopped down long ago, and the roots were dug up for firewood. Thousands of displaced families are living atop prime agricultural land, preventing nearby farmers from growing food.

In short, the land is dying. Without water, what arable land is left can't produce food. If and when this conflict ends, there will be nothing for many people to return to. Darfur is a prime example of a resource conflict, and world leaders need to take notice of that before it becomes a problem in their own lands.

1 comment:

adam said...

A dimension of the conflict that is often not spoken about.