As war continues to rage in Yemen into its third year, the disruption to civil society has been immense. An estimated 22·2 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian assistance and 2 million people have been displaced by the conflict and live in desperate conditions in Yemen itself or have sought refuge elsewhere in the region. Amid this deepening crisis sits the largest documented cholera epidemic of modern times. In The Lancet Global Health, Anton Camacho and colleagues1 address this epidemic from an epidemiological perspective and have sought to explain the key triggers for the massive surge in cases in May 2017. The publication of these results is very timely since one of the key triggers identified in the study links the surge in cases to the advent of the rainy season in May, with the concern that a resurge in transmission of the disease could occur in 2018 when the rains start.