Low Rainfall Causes Water Crisis to Millions of Syrians

Severe drought has dried up rivers and dams in Syria. Five million of its population are affected by the water crisis. The crisis is depriving people across the region of drinking, irrigating agricultural land, and meeting the livestock water needs. Cases of diarrhea are also increasing since many residents are forced to consume bad quality water.

Syria water crisis.
Illustration. Due to low rainfall and an increase in temperature, millions of Syrians suffer from the water crisis. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, SYRIA – The low rainfall and rising temperature caused by climate change have increased the risks and severity of droughts in the region. This year, Syria is facing its worst drought in 70 years. Therefore, a water crisis is unavoidable. According to reports from various humanitarian organizations, there are more than five million Syrians affected by the crisis. Syrians find it difficult to access drinking water and irrigation water for their agricultural land. Hundreds of square kilometers of agricultural land are threatened with total drought by 2021.

At the same time, the drought also caused two power plant dams in northern Syria to face imminent closure, leaving about three million people at risk of losing access to electricity. Drought also dries up the rivers in Syria while the majority of Syrians rely on river water to meet their daily water needs.

Since the reduction in water levels, residents in several areas across Syria, including Hassakeh, Aleppo, Raqqa, and Deir Az Zor, have witnessed a rise in outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea since many residents are forced to consume bad quality water.

In Al Sebat, 30km (13 miles) away from Hassakeh, residents have seen scores of villagers leaving to other areas because of drought. “It is infuriating to think that the current conditions will force us to leave the rural areas and that our lands will be left as ruins,” said Abdallah, a tribal leader from Al Sebat.

Abdallah says that this year, he has witnessed a wave of intense drought and as a result, his lands did not produce any crops and he also doesn’t have any sources of drinkable water either for him or for their animals.

Syria ranks seventh on a global risk index of 191 countries most at risk of a humanitarian or natural disaster, in part because of the ongoing crisis. []