Friday, August 28, 2009
Water shortage in southern Iraq threatens two million people
And what is Turkey's solution to this crisis for the Euphrates River? Why build more dams to divert even more water of course. There is no "democracy" in any place where people are deprived of the basic necessities of life. So much for our "occupation." It's bad enough we forced Monsanto seeds down their throats to ruin their agriculture, but now they don't even have enough water to water the seeds. Why is it everywhere we go we bring nothing but misery to the people who live there? The Middle East is already an arid water scarce area.
They cannot afford to have climate change along with multiple dams and wasteful practices adding to their crisis. Once again, the sun shines bright in the sky and all people can think of is using water for electricity that they need to grow food and survive because it makes contractors and politicians rich, and can also be used as a political weapon as the Ilisu Dam in Turkey is one against the Kurds.Restore the Marshlands, give the seeds back to the farmers, tear down the unncessary dams in Turkey destroying history and being used as political weapons, and invest in solar power in this area to save water. These dams have displaced thousands of people and denied water to those who need it to live. It isn't as though the solutions aren't there, but of course they are always the solutions that make someone money that only matter.It is time for the Middle East to come into the sun.
Excerpt from article:
Martin Chulov in Nasiriyah, Iraq guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 26 August 2009
Two million people face life without water
Link to this video
A water shortage described as the most critical since the earliest days of Iraq's civilisation is threatening to leave up to 2 million people in the south of the country without electricity and almost as many without drinking water.
An already meagre supply of electricity to Iraq's fourth-largest city of Nasiriyah has fallen by 50% during the last three weeks because of the rapidly falling levels of the Euphrates river, which has only two of four power-generating turbines left working. If, as predicted, the river falls by a further 20cm during the next fortnight, engineers say the remaining two turbines will also close down, forcing a total blackout in the city.
Down river, where the Euphrates spills out into the Shatt al-Arab waterway at the north-eastern corner of the Persian Gulf, the lack of fresh water has raised salinity levels so high that two towns, of about 3,000 people, on the northern edge of Basra have this week evacuated. "We can no longer drink this water," said one local woman from the village of al-Fal. "Our animals are all dead and many people here are diseased."
Iraqi officials have been attempting to grapple with the magnitude of the crisis for months, which, like much else in this fractured society, has many causes, both man-made and natural.
Two winters of significantly lower than normal rainfalls – half the annual average last year and one-third the year before – have followed six years of crippling instability, in which industry barely functioned and agriculture struggled to meet half of subsistence needs. "For thousands of years Iraq's agricultural lands were rich with planted wheat, rice and barley," said Salah Aziz, director of planning in Iraq's agricultural ministry, adding that land was "100% in use".
"This year less than 50% of the land is in use and most of the yields are marginal. This year we cannot begin to cover even 40% of Iraq's fruit and vegetable demand." During the last five chaotic years, many new dams and reservoirs have been built in Turkey, Syria and Iran, which share the Euphrates and its small tributaries. The effect has been to starve the Euphrates of its lifeblood, which throughout the ages has guaranteed bountiful water, even during drought. At the same time, irrigators have tried tilling marginal land in an attempt for quick yields and in all cases the projects have been abandoned.
"Not even during Saddam's time did we face the prospect of something so grave," said Nasiriyah's governor, Qusey al-Ebadi. Just east of the city, the Marsh Arabs are also on the edge of a crisis – unprecedented even during the three decades of reprisals they faced under the former dictator.
"The current level of the Euphrates cannot feed the small tributaries that give water to the marshlands," he continued. "The people there have started to dig wells for their own survival. There is no water to use for washing, because it is stagnant and contaminated. Many of the animals have contracted disease and died and people with animals are leaving their areas." Nowhere is Iraq's water shortage more stark than in what used to be the marshlands. Towards the Iranian border and south to the Gulf, rigid and yellowing reeds jut from a hard-baked landscape of cracked mud.
Skiffs that once plied the lowland waters lie dry and splintering and ducks wallow in fetid green ponds that pocket the maze of feeder streams. Steel cans of drinking water bought by desperate locals line dirt roads like over-sized letter boxes. The Euphrates, once broad and endlessly green, is now narrow and drab...
end of excerpt.
It matters not what part of the world you live in, or whether you are French, American, Israeli, Palestinian, Iraqi, Pakistani, etc. you have the right to clean water, food, health, and to be secure in the place you choose to live. War has provided NONE of those things, particularly for this region of the world, and it is now primarily the fault of the US that these people now suffer as well as the fault of other countries looking to gain from their misery.
It surely makes someone like myself not even have the motivation to continue to try to talk to people to make them see that poltiics, religion, and more than anything else, GREED (that spans all religions, non religions, and politics) has now deteriorated our world to the point where humanity is becoming obsolete.
When climate change along with all of these factors runs the Fertile Crescent, one of the most historically rich areas of the world and the cradle of agriculture dry how many who ignored these warnings due to their own apathy and prejudices will then start to care? Well, you will be too late then.
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