People, Environment

Dredging at Hamoun Tributaries Underway

Dredging at Hamoun Tributaries Underway Dredging at Hamoun Tributaries Underway

With the onset of the rainy season in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, the provincial office of the Department of Environment has launched measures to dredge and unblock Hamoun Wetlands' tributaries. 

Many water streams flowing into the Hamouns are obstructed by sediments remaining from past floods, IRNA reported. 

The Hamouns are trans-boundary wetlands on Iran-Afghanistan border and constitute three lakes: Hamoun-e Helmand, which is entirely in Iran; Hamoun-e Sabari on the border; and Hamoun-e Puzak, which is almost entirely inside Afghanistan.

The three lakes are linked and fed mainly by water from Afghanistan’s Helmand River.

According to Nayyereh Pourmolaei, the head of the provincial office of DOE, operations are being carried out based on the comprehensive management plan of Hamoun Wetlands devised last year. 

"Projects include the dredging of rivers to facilitate and speed up the flow of water, reinforcing embankment dams to help store water in valleys and spreading water across major sources of dust storms," she said.

Over the past few days, all streams moving toward Hamoun-e Sabari have been unblocked and dredging operations are continuing at the mouths of Afzalabad and Lurgbagh rivers. 

The embankment dam in Hamoun-e Helmand to the southwest of Mount Khajeh was strengthened and "has been able to store much of the recent flooding water". 

The official noted that the projects are being carried out with the help of local communities and the main beneficiary is the wetland. 

"In the present critical situation, the smallest amount of water is valuable and therefore, DOE and Hamoun Wetland Restoration Committee have focused all efforts on the maximum use of resources," she said. 

Pourmolaei hoped that the plans will help address the problems of the wetland and the residents of Sistan to a considerable degree, and help boost restoration efforts at the Hamoun Wetlands.

The wetlands are predominantly fed by Afghan rivers, although the amount of inflow Iran is legally obliged to receive is not sufficient to help restore the imperiled lagoons.

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