Qat habit might ruin Sana’a

BBC NEWS - From Our Own Correspondent: Yemen’s khat habit soaks up water

This is a BBC report about the qat (or khat) habit, which uses 40% of Yemen’s scarce water supply and is growing, the result of which is that there is not enough water for the country’s capital city, Sana’a. The water and environment minister now proposes a programme of voluntary resettlement of Yemenis from the capital to the coastal region, where solar energy could be used to desalinate water.

A few years ago I remember a butcher’s shop near where I lived in Croydon, run by a Somali who invited other Somalis round to chew qat, and they were pretty miserable people. The shop was always on the rocks (largely as a result of being in a part of town where there were few Muslims, I suspect), and eventually foundered when meat supplies crashed during the foot and mouth crisis. As for Yemen, there must be a reason why they don’t all live on the coast; heat, perhaps, or malaria? Perhaps the threat of having to move there might shake them out of their stupor, but if the government chews (as this water minister does), what hope is there?

Possibly Related Posts:


You may also like...