IRAQ 2013

The marshes of Southern Iraq have been for millenia the home of the “Arabs of the marshes”. Over four tribes live there and in Chibaish, the village across the two marshes. In 1991 Saddam Hussein, saw a way to get rid of the Shia resistance in the South. The Shia was strong in Southern Iraq and the fighters were in part hiding in the marshes.
Saddam then built artificial branches to the Tigris and the Euphrates, such as the Glory River, to divert the water coming out the Tigris away from the marshes. With no water recycle in the flow the salinity level rose and water was no longer potable, up to 90% of the marshes were lost. Most of the local population was driven out, of the 60.000 people living there in 1990 there were 6000 left.
Today the marshes are coming back, thanks to the projects of requalification of the area that include the Iraqi Government, Nature Iraq and some Italian Companies the marshes and its people are coming back. The population around Chibaish rose up to 62.000 people.        


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