Ahwazis’ environmental woes


This video concerns the massive environmental damage inflicted on the Ahwaz region of Iran by the Tehran regime’s massive sugarcane-growing project, which severely pollutes the regional water supply with chemicals used in refining as well as causing massive air pollution due to the burning of sugarcane stubble.

The video footage, filmed by prominent Ahwazi environmentalist Mazi Lowiemi shows some of the destruction left by these operations, with massive clouds of choking smoke rising into the sky from the burning of the sugarcane stubble, contributing further terrible pollution to the existing severe air pollution from the widespread oil and gas drilling in the area, which holds over 95 percent of the oil and gas supplies claimed by Iran.

Narrating the video, Lowiemi says, “In the name of God the smoke you see is from the burning of sugar cane farms. Today is Friday, November 24, 2017. The regime officials claim, ‘We don’t have any kind of burning and smoke from these sugar cane farms’ and ‘We aren’t releasing the debris of burning sugarcane towards the villages.”

Gesturing to the horrendous pall of thick dark smoke hanging over the villages, he says “But this that you see is the situation on a day when we have good air, without dirt and dust in the air Then we’ve got the smoke coming from the sugar cane refinery companies. We wish when this smoke’s coming to our homes, that our children at least had jobs working in these sugarcane companies.  But all the here are for non-indigenous people [non-Arabs and our only share is this smoke and debris from the burning of the stubble; everything that’s miserable and harmful to our environment is sent to us.  We’ve taken film and footage showing the burning of the sugarcane and the smoke problems and we’ve given all of it to officials. We even gave the evidence to Mrs. Masoumeh Ebtekar [head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Agency], but unfortunately, we’ve received no news of it. This is the situation we live in and these are our living conditions, and this smoke, as you see is coming towards this village.”

In this regard, Jawad Kazem Nasab, an Ahwaz city representative in the Iranian parliament, stated that “the sugarcane project has had devastating effects on air pollution in the towns of Ahwaz and Al Falahiyeh [Shadeghan in Farsi] and their surrounding villages. The previous Iranian government promised the people of the region that it would take all the necessary measures and would comply with international standards to address these environmental dangers and the collateral damage caused to the livelihoods of the area’s inhabitants.”

“However,” Nasab continues, “the sugar cane industry burnt its crops for economic purposes, which eventually led to even more pollution in the region and left the lives of residents of the villages adjacent to these plantations under serious threat.

Even the head of the environmental protection department in the province, Sayed Amid Hajti, reportedly said recently that “The oil and petrochemicals, sugarcane-growing and other major industries in the region did not positively contribute to the lives of the people of the region, but instead increased the proportion of pollution in the air and environment.”