Majority of Iranians Affected by Severe Drought, Says Expert

Close to 97 percent of the Iranian population, meaning more than 77 million people, are living in drought-stricken regions, says Sadegh Ziaeian, the director of the National Emergency Management of Drought and Meteorological Disasters.

Mr. Ziaeian warned: “The situation has reached a critical level in the provinces of Qom, Khuzestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Hormozgan, Yazd, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad.” He added: “Close to 98 percent and 97 percent of the population of the capital Tehran and Qom have experienced water shortage and drought at one point or another in the past decade.”

[aesop_image img=”صف-آب.jpg” panorama=”off” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”People queue to fill up water. Khoram shahr, Iran. 2018. Source: Kayhan London” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]

“Half of the country’s surface area is threatened by mild to severe drought,” Ziaeian explained. “More than 65 percent, 52 percent and 50 percent of the surface areas of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Khuzestan and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari are affected by drought, respectively.”

Ziaeian noted: “The data collected between October 2017 and September 2018 indicates that 45 percent, 19 percent, 20 percent and 8 percent of the country’s surface area suffer from near-critical, severe, moderate and mild drought, respectively.” He added: “The report also shows that 18.4 percent, 49.6 percent, 25.5 percent and 4.4 percent of the country’s population are affected by near-critical, severe, moderate and mild drought.”

Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi