woman carrying water Noah Seelam/Stringer

Perang dan Perdamaian dan Air

WASHINGTON, DC – India tengah mengalami krisis air terburuk dan peristiwa ini mengakibatkan 330 juta orang – seperempat populasi penduduknya – menderita kekeringan yang sangat parah. Ethiopia juga kini tertimpa kekeringan terburuk yang menyebabkan gagal panen sehingga hampir sepersepuluh warganya menderita karena keterbatasan pangan. Di tengah kondisi seperti ini risiko timbulnya perselisihan sumber daya akan meningkat.

Dahulu kekeringan yang sedemikian parahnya telah berujung pada konflik dan bahkan perang antar warga dan negara. Salah satu pertikaian pertama dalam sejarah meletus sekitar 4.500 tahun lalu ketika kota Lagash – terletak diantara sungai Eufrat dan Tigris di Irak – mengalihkan sumber air dari kota tetangganya, Umma. Persaingan demi memperoleh air juga memicu peristiwa kekerasan di peradaban Cina kuno dan menyebabkan ketidakstabilan politik di Mesir pada zaman Firaun.

Kini, perang antar negara untuk mendapatkan sumber air relatif jarang, berkat penguatan kerja sama lintas batas dan dialog. Namun di dalam negeri, persaingan akibat kekurangan air semakin menjadi sumber penyebab ketidakstabilan dan konflik yang umum terjadi, apalagi karena perubahan iklim memperburuk skala dan frekuensi terjadinya cuaca ekstrim. Sebagaimana kami tuliskan secara mendetail dalam laporan terbaru yang berjudul “High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and the Economy,” ketersediaan air yang menipis dan tidak menentu berdampak pada melemahnya pertumbuhan ekonomi, mendorong perpindahan penduduk, dan memicu konflik sipil yang pada akhirnya semakin membahayakan migrasi.

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