The drought-stricken country has announced other severe restrictions on water use in preparation for another hot summer.
Tunisia will cut off water supplies to its citizens for seven hours overnight in response to the worst drought on record, state water company SONEDE said.
The drought-stricken country has announced other severe restrictions on water use, including bans on using potable water for irrigating farmland and green spaces, or cleaning public areas and cars.
SONEDE said on Friday that the water will be cut off from 9pm to 4am every day.
Its director, Mosbah Helali, said the drought in the country, caused by four consecutive years of lack of rainfall and attributed by SONDE to climate change, was unprecedented, urging Tunisians to understand the decision. asked to do
He said fines and even imprisonment are being considered if the rules are broken.
Residents in some parts of the capital have already complained about an unannounced cut in the main power supply at night since the start of the fasting month of Ramadan, when many stay up late.
“Years of drought and declining inflows into reservoirs have impacted the country’s water resources, reaching unprecedented levels,” the ministry said.
The new decision threatens to add to social tensions in a country where people struggle with poor public services, high inflation and a sluggish economy.
Dams in the North African country are at critically low levels following years of drought exacerbated by leaking pipelines in an aging electrical grid.
In Tunisia, dam capacity has fallen to about 1 billion cubic meters, or 30% of its maximum, said Hamadi Habib, a senior agriculture ministry official.
Farmers’ unions have expressed concern about next season, particularly with regard to grain. would exacerbate the problem of
The Tunisian Federation of Agriculture and Fisheries said thousands of hectares of farmland were at risk of fallow due to lack of rain.
“This year’s grain season will be devastating. There will be no harvest,” spokesman Anis Kharbech told Tunisian media. He said the projected yield would not be enough to provide seed for next year’s crop.
Tunisia’s agricultural sector typically accounts for 10% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Recurring heat waves are a clear sign of human-induced global warming, with droughts set to become more frequent, longer and more intense around the world, scientists say.