Two good articles on Yeman out recently….
The first from the Guardian about how the production of Qat (or Khat) is threatening the water supply of that country.
Most experts predict Sana’a, the fastest-growing capital in the world at 7% a year, will run out of economically viable water supplies by 2017. That is the same year the World Bank says Yemen will cease earning income from its oil, which currently accounts for three-quarters of the state’s revenues.
The cost of water in some suburbs of Sana’a has tripled in the last year, and armed conflicts over water resources around the city are increasing.
The water situation is so serious that the government has considered moving the capital, as well as desalinating seawater on the coast and pumping it 2,000 metres uphill to the capital.
Of course, that article came just a few weeks too late. After all, after a brief flurry of panic (Yemen is the next Afghanistan!) nobody is now talking about it:
Most of the reporters who landed in Yemen shortly after the failed bombing have left the country. If you search Google News for “Yemen,” you’ll get 24,100 results for January. For February? Just 593 — many of them wire stories or items from the handful of blogs that regularly cover the country. The contrast is even starker on TV news, where the word “Yemen” was uttered exactly twice on U.S. evening newscasts in February, both times in the context of the bombing plot.