Ahwazi: Underground Aquifers Polluted By Sugar Factories
Sugar processing factories are polluting Ahwaz underground water reserves, damaging farm productivity and causing a lack of potable water. Despite high investment in the sugar factory, Iran suffers from a lack of sugar supply and poor distribution and therefore heavily relies on imports. Hence, Ahwazi Arabs are doubly affected: not only do farmers suffer from pollution, but locals are excluded from the job market due to the factories’ discriminatory policy.
Photo courtesy of Ahwaz News.
Below is an article published by Ahwaz News:
Waste water from sugar processing factories is polluting underground aquifers, claimed Abdullah Sameri, Mohammerah (Khorramshahr) representative in the Iranian parliament.
At a recent press conference, Sameri accused the Mirza Kochak Khan sugar factory of failing to abide by its responsibilities and meeting environmental regulations. He claimed that waste water was causing salination of nearby agricultural land and underground water reservoirs, which affected the quality of drinking water and prevented farm productivity.
The Mira Kochak Khan sugar company is one of seven sugar agribusiness enterprise development projects and manages 14,000 hectares of land southwest of the Ahwaz-Mohammerah highway.
Despite investment in the sugar sector, Iran is suffering from a lack of sugar supply and poor distribution. According to Food Press, the lack of sugar in recent weeks has seen prices reach IRR25,000 (USD0.80) per kg, which is around twice the average price on the global commodity markets. This has forced Iran to rely on imported sugar.
Consequently, the Iranian sugar industry is failing to make the country self-sufficient in sugar, yet has caused severe environmental damage. As well as suffering environmental problems, local sugar producers are failing to employ local Arab workers due to discrimination.