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Desertification in Iraq reaches nearly 70%

Baghdad ( – An Iraqi official in the Environment Directorate in Najaf governorate in southern Iraq said that the percentage of desertification in Iraq reached about 70 percent because of the poor water flow coming from Iran and Turkey, Rudaw News reported.

The director of the Climate Change Department in the Environment Directorate in Najaf, Haider Fleih, explained that desertification in the governorate of Najaf increased by five percent compared to last year due to the scarcity of water that affected agricultural lands, forcing many Iraqi farmers to leave their lands.

Fleih explained that the percentage of desertification in Najaf reached 35 percent and 69.7 percent in Iraq, noting that the shortage of water has become a crisis that is remarkably threatening the livelihood of Iraqi farmers.

Iraq holds its neighbors Turkey and Iran responsible for reducing water levels due to the construction of dams on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

Iraq asked the two countries more than once to increase Iraq’s water share from the two rivers without receiving a response, according to Rudaw News.

Iraq, which has a population of more than 42 million, announced that Turkish water projects reduced Iraq’s share of water by 80 percent, while Ankara accuses Baghdad of wasting large amounts of water.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water Resources in Iraq issued directives earlier to reduce the agricultural land area due to the insufficient water coming from Turkey and Iran.

The Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture warned that water scarcity threatens the food security of the Iraqi people.

Source: Iraq News, June 26, 2023



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