After ATMs and foodstuff, Algerians now queue for water
Algeria’s long queues seem to be there to stay fueling the wrath of a people that has suffered in recent days from a liquidity crisis, inflation as well as shortages of cooking oil and milk among other vital goods.
In Algiers, which is ironically better-off compared to hard-to- reach regions, residents had to spend four days without water in taps, triggering protests in many neighborhoods.
Residents of Ain El Malha neighborhood in Algiers blocked a key road in protest for water cuts in a country where demographic growth is weighing on scarce water resources.
The Algerian water crisis reflects shortsightedness of officials and their lack of anticipation, amplified by an inefficient water management and few dams and desalination plants.
Instead of lasting solutions, authorities in Algeria are opting for damage control, proceeding to water rationing that leaves only few hours a day for residents to collect water from taps.
Pictures of citizens queuing in front of water tanks in order to fill in their water cans are now common images as if the country is in a state of war.
Water crisis is now adding up to the pile of Algeria’s combustible material which includes unemployment, shortage of milk and cooking oil, inflation and liquidity crisis, in addition to omens of the state’s inability to maintain its subsidies policy.
This takes place in a tense political context marked by a brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy Hirak protests as the military junta reinforces its firm grip on the state apparatus.