The political instability in Yemen is compounded by the severe ecological crisis also. This ecological crisis in Yemen is caused by _:
1. Scarcity of freshwater
2. Abuse of available groundwater
3. Low agricultural output & food insecurity
Select the correct option from the codes given below:
Yemen’s political instability has been compounded and partly caused by the severe ecological crisis in the country. The average Yemeni has access to only 140 cubic meters of water per year for all uses, while the Middle Eastern average is 1000 m3/yr, and the internationally defined threshold for water stress is 1700 cubic meters per year. Yemen’s groundwater is the main source of water in the country but the water tables have dropped severely leaving the country without a viable source of water. For example, in Sana’a, the water table was 30 meters below surface in the 1970s but had dropped to 1200 meters below surface by 2012. The groundwater has not been regulated by Yemen’s governments.
Even before the revolution, Yemen’s water situation had been described as increasingly dire by experts who worried that Yemen would be the “first country to run out of water”. Agriculture in Yemen takes up about 90% of water in Yemen even though it only generates 6% of GDP – however a large portion of Yemenis are dependent on small-scale subsistence agriculture. Half of agricultural water in Yemen is used to grow khat, a narcotic that most Yemenis chew. This means that in such a water-scarce country as Yemen, where half the population is food-insecure, 45% of the water withdrawn from the ever-depleting aquifers is used to grow a crop that feeds nobody.
This water insecurity has a direct impact on political stability. Outsiders hear most about the proxy war between factions supported by other countries, but according to the Yemeni newspaper Al-Thawra, 70% to 80% of conflicts in the country’s rural regions are water-related. The country’s Interior Ministry has estimated that across the country, water and land related disputes kill 40,000 people a year – more than terrorism.
In Al-Jawf Governorate, a dispute over a well’s placement has led to a blood feud that has continued for more than 30 years. In 2007, Yemen’s minister of Water and Natural Resources suggested that the Sana’a might have to be evacuated if it runs out of water. Although the government was unable to move the capital in an orderly and peaceful way, the war and political crisis has rendered Sana’a and most of Yemen into a battleground that people have been forced to flee.
This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module