Drug plant takes precious water and controls lives.
Even as drought is destroying food crops in Yemen, World Bank studies have found that vast amounts of water are being wasted on a plant called qat, which has a narcotic effect when chewed.
With food crops that have been abandoned in favor of the more profitable qat, residents in some regions are already having to collect drinking water from animal watering holes, and the survival of the country’s 24 million people could soon be at stake.
Yemeni Secretary-general Thamar Mujahed Shayef al-Ansi recently met with Julia Valeria of the World Bank to discuss ways to reduce qat planting and encourage constructive agricultural alternatives for farmers.
We thank Your Excellency, Mr. Ms. Valeria and the World Bank for your efforts to rebuild health and livelihoods. May the beautiful Yemeni people be graced with lives of intoxicant-free happiness and sustainable harmony with the land.