Water Stress and Conflicts in Africa

Policy brief

Raleigh, Clionadh & Ingrid Vik Bakken (2017) Water Stress and Conflicts in Africa, PRIO Policy Brief, 11. Oslo: PRIO.

Water scarcity is widely believed to be a common source of violent conflict. However, cross-disciplinary research reveals that it is the politics of water, rather than scarcity per se, that increases the risk of conflict. Water distribution may favor specific groups and areas, while leaving other groups marginalized. This inequality may induce new contests in Africa, where environmental vulnerability is high, and the physical changes imposed by climate change are considered most pressing.

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