4,000 in drought-ridden areas provided with social services

September 17, 2019

TEHRAN – The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) has dispatched volunteer teams to provide social services to the people residing in drought-stricken provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, South Khorasan and Hormozgan, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

The long standing 20-year-old drought in the region is forcing many to have to provide their water from tank trucks delivering water to the areas.

To ease water scarcity in those areas, a campaign called Nazr-e Ab (literally meaning water donation), started on August 1 to September 11 in drought-ridden provinces aiming at soliciting water donations for the regions suffering severe water scarcity and people can participate with donating bottled water, water tanks or cash, nationwide.

Along with the campaign, volunteer teams also are sent to areas affected by severe water shortages promote social and cultural activities among children and adolescents, such as training courses on first aid, counseling, health tips, life skills, entrepreneurship, sports, as well as group games, theater, art workshops and etc, Ali Ganj Karimi, an official with the IRCS said.

Also, stationery, school uniforms, toys, school bags, painting supplies were distributed among children and adolescents who cannot afford to pay for cultural and recreational activities, he added.

The campaign was first held last year (starting on August 5, 2018) in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan which went into trouble after Hamoun wetland drained and the rainless sky left many in dire need of drinking water.

It has two main aspects; the first one centers on water supply issues including desalination of water, rehabilitation of qanats, improving wells and water quality, filtering and sanitation of reservoirs. And the second aspect focuses on social and health issues including health care services, free diagnosis, and etc.

Last year, 800 billion rials (about $19 million) has been allocated in this regard by the benefactors.

Based on the latest data published by National Drought Warning and Monitoring Center affiliated to Iran’s Meteorological Organization, since the current crop year (September 23, 2018), South Khorasan has received 138.5 millimeters rainfall while the long-term averages are 109.7 millimeters which indicates above normal averages; last year during the same period, 49.4 millimeters of precipitation reported.

Precipitation in Sistan-Baluchestan province increased to 130.3 millimeters from 30 millimeters in the previous water year, demonstrating a 334.1 percent rise. The amount also rose in comparison to the long-term average of 117.1 mm, showing an increase of 11.3 percent.

Khuzestan province also experienced increased rainfall during this crop year, receiving 224.8 millimeters of rain while it reported to rain 60.2 millimeters in the previous water year, showing a 306.9 percent rise, while it also increased in comparison to the long-term mean of 178.8 mm.

However, the provinces are still suffering from water shortage.

FB/MG

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