January 31, 2020
Almost 80% of the flood-stricken locals in Sistan and Baluchestan Province still lack access to potable water over two weeks after severe floods hit the region, according to a representative of the Health Ministry’s nursing directorate.
On Monday, Saeed Lak told the state-run IRNA news agency: “Only some 23 percent of the people residing in the flooded regions have access to clean drinking water. In general and in normal conditions, for the majority of people in this region is difficult to obtain clean water to drink.”
There has been extensive damage to the flood-hit areas, with the reservoirs that people used to get their water from destroyed. Now, people are understandably worried about getting drinking water and do not have available drinking water either.
One woman said: “[It’s] as if we have been forgotten!”
IRNA cited an official in the Provincial Governorate of Sistan and Baluchestan as saying that as of January 21 “the water of 60 villages is still cut off”. This is reportedly what Mansour Bijar, deputy for coordination of construction affairs in the Governorate of Sistan and Baluchestan Province, told a Crisis Management meeting last week.
These floods, which have destroyed dozens of villages, have killed at least three people and thousands of animals since early January in Sistan and Baluchistan province, southeast Iran.
The authorities have done nothing to mitigate the flood damage or protect the people in the area, not even producing aid parcels or creating a shelter.
They didn’t even react to ongoing evidence that there was a massive threat of floods. The General Manager of Meteorology warned authorities that the dams were in danger of overflowing numerous times during Crisis Management sessions, but the local Water Organization did not take them seriously and did not drain dams, which led to a major overflow.
On January 19, the Arman state-run newspaper wrote that the government also refused to pledge any money towards dredging the rivers.
The next day, the state-run Khabar Fori website wrote that the overflow of four dams in flood-affected areas of Sistan and Baluchestan province played a major role in the damage caused and that this was down to negligence in watershed management projects.
The website quoted Shahbakhsh Gorgij, a member of the High Council of Provinces, as saying: “In 2007-2008, the Guno Storm destroyed the region’s dam. While the dam could be reconstructed in a week, but the government has not repaired it after 13 years. This dam could decrease 70 percent of the damages.”