Tunisian villages suffer drought and climate change


Published: 2023-12-06 10:33

Last Updated: 2024-06-25 02:21

Tunisian villages suffer drought and climate change
Tunisian villages suffer drought and climate change

Tunisian villager Ounissa Mazhoud and her cousin Djamila lead a donkey, with two jerry cans tied to it, and cautiously descend a stony hill towards the last local source of water in the remote village of Ouled Omar, 180 kilometers southwest of the capital Tunis.

The north African country, in its fourth year of drought, is grappling with its worst water scarcity in years.

Mazhoud said: "We are the living dead, forgotten by everyone. We have no roads or water, no help or decent housing. We own nothing. Are we Tunisians? No, because here we are not considered as such, Why? Because we lack a lot of things."

She continued: "There are several families who have left the village. Elderly people left due to water scarcity. They followed their children to the city so they could live, leaving their houses empty. The reason is thirst. Can an 80-year-old go to the river to get water? No way."

Her husband, Mahmoud Mazhoud, said: "If the situation continues as it is now, no one will be able to stay here, including me. I cannot buy bottled water, and springs and valleys are far away to bring water from especially under the heat. Despite this, I can take my donkey to fill water and bring back 20 or 40 liters of water, as time permits. But in the days to come, with the cold and rain, what can I do?"

Ramzi Sebtaoui, a local stockbreeder, shared his viewpoint saying: "Two or three years ago, the situation was much better, with many natural springs that we could use to give water to the livestock. Today, due to climate change, almost all springs are dried up and all roads are destroyed. We have difficulty moving around. Today, our only request is to have paved roads and water for this village."