"'Dangerous' Tunisian Droughts Threaten Food Security"

"SILIANA, Tunisia - Three years of drought have dried up Tunisian reservoirs, threatening harvests that are critical to the North African country's battered economy and pushing the government to raise tap water prices for homes and businesses.

Since September only 110 million cubic meters of rain fell in Tunisia, about a fifth of the normal rate, and officials in the farmers union and the main trade union warn that grain crops will suffer - adding to existing problems of food supply.

"The situation is very dangerous because of years of continuous drought," said Hammadi Habib, an Agriculture Ministry official. "Dams are only at 25% of their capacity and some dams have only 10%," he added.

As climate change has accelerated, bringing blistering heat across the Mediterranean region in recent summers, winter rains have repeatedly diminished in North Africa, causing problems for agriculture from Morocco to Tunisia."

Tarek Amara and Jihed Abidellaoui report for Reuters January 11, 2023.

Source: Reuters, 01/12/2023