Ahwazi: Man-Made Floods Lead Families to Flee their Homes
A man-made flood derived from the opening of Dez Dam obliged families to flee from their homes in Rofayyeh, in the Ahwaz region. In 2016 a similar situation destroyed thousands of farmers’ livelihoods, who still have not been compensated for their loss. The UNPO reiterates the need for the international community to address man-induced environmental adversities in the Ahwaz region and its consequent catastrophes for local indigenous people.
The article below was published by Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (AHRO):
Families from Rofayyeh, a city in Ahwaz, have had to flee thier homes after the man made flood following the opening of Dez dam.
In 2016, the same flood destroyed the livelihood of thousands of farmers in South West of Iran. Damages were estimated to cost millions of Dollars. The farmers were not granted any sort of compensation.
Indigenous Ahwazi Arab farmers have been told to leave these zones. Farmers who cultivated as little as 3-4 hectares were fined by the government.
This is a deliberate attempt to change the demographics of this region; the Iranian government is using the dams as a weapon against the indigenous population. In summer, the water is held behind the dams to prevent it from reaching down stream. As a consequence, Karun river, several lakes and marshlands have been left to dry. Dried marshlands in turn have become the source of high dust particles which sweeps the region following each storm. This region of the world where Hur Alazim (an international marshland) and Karun (Iran’s longest river) is situated is facing serious man made environmental catastrophes and needs the immediate attention of environmentalists and the international community at large.
Photo courtesy of M Samadi