Ahwazi Arabs suffer double oppression, sheer poverty and drink dirty and contaminated water




The wetlands do not have water. In Iran’s wetlands region (Al-Ahwaz), there are no fish to be fished, the wetlands have disappeared. The Ahwazi people have to fish in the Iraqi wetlands, but fishing in Iraq means taking a chance of being robbed or murdered.

The situation of the Ahwazi people has reached the point that they must risk their lives to find a morsel of food to survive and escape starvation. I mean the situation of humanity here has reached the point that they must risk death for a subsistence living. We do not have anyone but we have our God. Those who created this situation for us, we will see them in the world hereafter.

These local people have families and children; they need a means of living. Where can they go? The majority of children here are getting sick, including my son, because the water is dirty.

I swear to God, we find worms in the water we drink. When we open the faucet, worms come out. The Water purifier that we want to buy costs around 3 million or 4 million Riyals   .

We cannot afford it. Imagine how difficult it is to work one day and be jobless for the next ten days

The wetlands have dried up; our children drink dirty water; this is our situation.

You see this is our home, and you can see the distance between our homes and the river. You can see how long it takes for us to go from our village to the river. Are we going there every day? Yes, we go twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. We have to commute here and there to carry water on our heads. What shall we do? What can we do?

It is sheer misery during the summer. The temperature gets so hot that the bottom of our feet get burned, and during the winter this area gets so cold and muddy that we cannot walk–this is a sandy area.

Believe me, I swear to God, my daughters have lost their hair. They used to have long ponytails, and this is because they have to carry big pots on their heads to bring water from the river every day, and now they are sick

People do not drink water from the water tap, even though we have to drink water from the river. I swear to God, if I make tea I cannot drink it. During the summer, we put water to cool in the fridge, and in spite of everything we drink it because when it is a little cool, it is bearable to drink, otherwise we cannot swallow it. What shall we do? What can we do?

When guests visit us, they cannot drink our tea or water. What can we do? What shall we do?

Here in our lands, the government discovered many oil wells, and the government is exploiting them. What would happen if they were to make roads to our villages?

When the election date approaches, they will speak of giving millions to local people just so they will vote. But now we do not want their millions.  We just want to be healthy and want them to provide us with clean drinkable piped water to our villages. We are suffering from this dirty water.

Why did they abandon us to fend for ourselves against such suffering? We do not have water to drink, nor a road to walk on…. probably because we are an unneeded and unwanted people in Iran.

(((Economic ministers of Iranian regime have handed over around Seven thousand and five hundred hectares of Hor Al-Azim wetlands to Oil Ministry for excavating and oil prospecting operations. Environmental experts believe that this action undertaken by the Iranian government is considered as a devastating decision that will result in the complete destruction of wetlands in Al-Ahwaz region in the southwest of Iran. ))