People, Environment

Fars Towns Suffering From Unremitting Salt Storms

Fars Towns Suffering From Unremitting Salt StormsFars Towns Suffering From Unremitting Salt Storms

The desiccation of Tashk and Bakhtegan lakes in Fars Province has led to the emergence of vast salt marshes that pose grave risks to both the environment and local residents.

Mehdi Mohammadjani, director of Bakhtegan National Park, made the above statement last week.

Located in the vicinity of salt marshes that have appeared in place of Tashk and Bakhtegan, the cities of Neyriz and Abadeh Tashk face the greatest threat.

“A breeze is enough to create a salt storm that covers both cities and their surrounding villages,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Abadeh Tashk seems to be the worst-hit, as reports indicate that salt storms that frequently batter the small town occasionally engulf the city and stretch about 30 kilometers outside the town’s borders.

“You can find a layer of salt in every house in Abadeh Tashk,” said Mohammadjani, adding that many people have been complaining about breathing difficulties.

Water wells have not remained safe from the effects of the phenomenon either. Groundwater is also becoming bitter and salty as a result of prolonged drought.

A great number of water wells have become non-functional, impeding agriculture in the region and making life difficult for the nearby villages.

Mohammadjani lamented the fact that the lakes’ water rights are not upheld, claiming that “not a drop of water has been released into the lakes for years.”

“Kor River, the main tributary of Tashk and Bakhtegan, has shrunk significantly over the years. The small amount of water that has remained in the river is withdrawn illegally by local farmers for irrigation purposes, leaving not a single drop to reach the lakes,” he said.

Not too long ago, Tashk and Bakhtegan lakes used to host thousands of migratory birds that arrived in the region in the breeding season in large groups.

At times, the number of flamingos and other species reached 300,000, while today only a few cranes fly around the area.