Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Iranians Demonstrate in Isfahan against Water Crisis Mismanagement

Fri 19 Nov 2021 | 10:34 PM
Ahmed Moamar

Thousands of farmers in central Iran took part in a protest in Isfahan on Friday, calling on the authorities to open sluices of a dam to help drought-stricken areas, state television reported.

Several prominent actors and athletes joined the peaceful movement in the city of Isfahan, urging the government to intervene to help farmers who are increasingly suffering from the drought that has worsened over the years.

The demonstrations began earlier this month.

Mohammad Mokhber, Iran's first vice president, is scheduled to address the residents of the province with a televised speech later on Friday to find out the farmers' concerns.

For his part, the Iranian Energy Minister apologized to the farmers of Isfahan Province and promised to compensate them by making urgent decisions in the Zayandeh Rod River Revitalization Committee.

Drought has been a problem for Iran for nearly 30 years, but it has worsened over the past decade, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The Iranian Meteorological Organization says an estimated 97 percent of the country is now facing some level of drought.

The agricultural area around Isfahan previously received a good water supply from the Zayandeh Rud River, and the nearby factories have increasingly benefited from it over the years.

The river once flowed under the historic bridges in the center of the city of Isfahan, but now a strip of mud is about to dry up.

In 2012, farmers clashed with police in a town in Isfahan province, breaking a water pipe that was perting about 50 million cubic meters of water annually to a neighboring province.

Similar protests have continued sporadically since then, and the government at one point paid about $250 to each family affected by the crisis.