Climate Change and Global Crisis: The Syrian Example

water syria

Written by Dana Dadoush

In light of a recurring theme that has been driving a lot my recent experiences, as a Syrian native, I will highlight an idea that I believe, should be a very important part of our discourse on the Syrian issue.  One of the forgotten stories that took place, which can be identified as one of the root causes to uprising of the Syrian Revolution in 2011, was the water crisis. For many years, Syria was suffering from water scarcity; even before the severe drought which reached a new high in 2009-2011. I am sure some will relate when I describe how I spent my summer days in Syria filling up buckets of water in preparation for the water cut that was going to happen in the afternoon. Although for me, that meant just spending an hour or two a day without water at home, but to the many lower-income families, especially in the rural areas, it meant spending several hours a day without water. Anyhow, in 2011, tensions from the Syrian people reached a new high because of the poor living conditions, lack of basic human amenities and the many injustices carried out by the Syrian government (Wendle, 2016). In response, the people went onto the streets to ask for their rights. Five and half years later, over 400 000 people have been killed, and over 10 million displaced. (Mercy Corps, 2016). And it’s nowhere close to being the end.

One of the many devastating implications of Climate Change on our earth is water depletion, in many dry areas of the world. And, one of the most affected areas, to our luck, is the Middle Eastern Region. In discussing one of the triggers of the Syrian Revolution, the topic on water cannot be ignored. For many researchers, it became evident that the war in Syria can be used as an example of the types of conflicts and calamities that can occur, due to Climate Change-related events. It points to the destruction, deaths and instabilities that it can lead to, along with other global problems that it can trigger. The association between Climate Change and the Syrian Crisis has not been communicated enough or clearly to the public, especially to those Climate skeptics, who deny the scientific evidence. Hence, emphasis should be put on making this reality part of the discourse on the Syrian Crisis. Such global and catastrophic events like Syria’s water crisis, are one of the prime global factors that need to drive more sustainable practices.

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