Algeria: Protests Over Water Shortages Persist Despite Government Aid

by | Jun 20, 2024 | Algeria, Diplomacy, Economic, Security, Social


On 14 June 2024, the Algerian government announced the provision of the equivalent of $200 million for projects supporting areas across the country currently experiencing water stress. 

This decision comes as a result of weeks of protests over water shortages that were not quelled by the government’s initial response of delivering water via trucks. 

The protests began in early June, in Tiaret, a city located in northwestern Algeria, with burning tires on streets and largely peaceful demonstrations. However, the protests have become increasingly obstructive as water shortages persist, with protesters erecting barricades on multiple roads and crowding certain administrative buildings. 

The issue of water scarcity in Algeria, the second most water scarce country in Africa, has been present for several years. There is a well-documented history of water challenges as a multi-year drought has continued across the Mediterranean region


Despite the likelihood that the Tiaret protests may soon be addressed with deliveries of government aid, a holistic solution has yet to be found. Thus, the threat of future instances of citywide water shortages in Algeria is still daunting and carries the rising risk of civil unrest. 

While studies have explored feasible solutions for water scarcity, the power for change ultimately lies in the hands of the Algerian government, who manages the water resources. However, with the government’s historic mismanagement of water exemplified by uneven distribution, the prospect for meaningful change is low. 

As management issues are compounded by the ongoing drought, the issue will likely continue to surface in Algeria’s outlying cities as well as in other countries across North Africa. 


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