Squeezing Africa Dry: behind every land grab there is a water grab
Food cannot be grown without water. In Africa, one in three people endure water scarcity and climate change makes things worse. Africa’s sophisticated indigenous water systems are being destroyed by large-scale land grabs amidst claims that Africa’s water is abundant, under-utilised and ready to be harnessed for export-oriented agriculture. Most of the land deals in Africa involve large-scale, industrial agriculture operations that will consume massive amounts of water. Nearly all of them are located in major river basins with access to irrigation. They occupy fertile and fragile wetlands, or are located in more arid areas that can draw water from major rivers. A report from GRAIN looks behind the current scramble for land in Africa to reveal a global struggle for what is increasingly seen as a precious commodity: water.