Two months have passed since the catastrophic flood struck over 25 provinces throughout Iran.
In addition to the irreparable damage to agricultural lands due to insufficient urban and rural infrastructure, the collapse of dams has left millions stranded without shelter in various areas.
Despite statistics published by state-run websites on the destruction and damage of tens of thousands of homes, agricultural infrastructure, schools, heavy losses in the production industry and the destruction of farms and livestock, government entities continue to deny flood victims basic aid.
Two months after the heavy floods, living conditions of the victims has become so dire and wretched that many government officials have been forced to attest to these conditions:
On May 17, the state-run ISNA news agency reported on the horrid condition of flood victims in the city of Aq Qala located in the northern province of Golestan:
“People are in need of food and drinkable water. Most of the people in the region are workers and have not been able to work for a few months now. What should they do? Illnesses are prevalent and growing, some of them suffer from fever, but the source and reason are still unclear”.
‘There is a mosquito breakout in the region which needs to be exterminated. In addition, it has been announced that eight thousand houses are unsuitable for living but many families have not even received tents,” the news agency wrote.
Under such circumstances what is particularly dreadful is the devastating situation of women and children in the midst of this national disaster who have been left in unbearable conditions in 40 C degrees heat without any support or shelter and without adequate living facilities and medical aid.
The state-run Salamat News website reported on the condition of women in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.
“The women and children in Magran-se, as in other flood-stricken regions, are more vulnerable than men. It has been reported that most of them are suffering from urinary infection and feminine hygiene-related illnesses due to unhygienic restrooms. They don’t know what to resort to for bathing and washing purposes,” the website wrote on April 27.
Salame-no website wrote about children in Lorestan Province on April 3 and said that “most children were suffering from bloody diarrhea due to using unsanitary water supplies and were rapidly being sent to health centers in Khorramabad.”
The destruction of roadways have created unprecedented damage to Iran’s agricultural infrastructure. The collapse of dams and water barriers and the closing of schools and classrooms are other dimensions of the devastation left behind from the floods, which mostly go unaddressed among the many problems that are mostly only addressed in state-run media due to the explosive atmosphere in these regions.
IRNA news agency May 24, 2019: Lorestan province suffered from a high unemployment rate even before the floods, but the floods have illuminated the meager employment opportunities which existed in the province. Unemployment has grown to the extent that the media is reporting on the migration of people from Lorestan province to adjacent provinces or metropolitan areas.
IRNA news agency May 17: “Pol Dokhtar, which was hit hardest by the floods and faced the greatest damage, has lost about 70 percent of its trade commerce which has left around 18,000 Lorestan residents unemployed.”
Health and Sanitation
State-run Eghtesad-online website May 28, 2019: “In the suburbs of Ahwaz, a number of patients have visited our doctors suffering from skin and hair disorders. Some suffered from a yellow fungus form on their heads which has created bald spots on their heads. They said they contracted the disease after going into the water. With the temperature rising, the probability of the outbreak of further diseases will increase. “
Mehr State-run news agency, May 10, 2019: “ After the flood, the presence of contaminated waters, as well as the growth of pests and bestial insects have been reported, as a result infectious diseases are surfacing in these areas, it is estimated we will be witnessing such ordeals in flood-stricken areas for about 6 to 7 months. “
Dire conditions of farmers and Rancher
All agricultural fields in Golestan and Khuzestan provinces and a vast area in Mazandaran and Lorestan provinces have been washed away by floods. State-run media have reported on a very small angle of these damages:
IRNA news agency May 31, 2019:
In the flood which hit Lorestan province “more than five thousand hectares, equivalent to 10 percent of the orchards of the province” were hit directly or indirectly, and “about 1,800 hectares of black figs “, and the country’s largest pomegranate plantation of the country were severely damaged by floods. “50,000 fish were lost and 421 fish farms were damaged, direct or indirect affecting the employment of 1,000 people working in the industry in this region. Flood damage to the province’s agriculture will not be redeemed soon, and many products, including plantation goods, will not be having any profits this year. “
State-run Website eghtesad Online May 28, 2019:
“One of the main problems the victims of the flood in Khuzestan are faced with is to repair damages inflicted on their farms. Over 200,000 hectares of farms have gone under water, thus, not only will they not have any products but they are in debt due to unpaid loans and marginal expenses. “
Situation of children in schools
IRNA state-run news agency May 29: “Children in Khuzestan province are currently in forests and trenches instead of being in school. A while after the floods, schools re-opened, but many schools lack basic conditions for classes to be held. Most schools have either been closed down or function on a half time basis. Some classes are being held in tents, but children are unable to study in such high heat.”
“In the city of Pol Dokhtar, 19 school and 112 classrooms have been destroyed in the recent floods and 3,360 students will not be able to attend school in September. “
Despite the environmental and socioeconomic catastrophe which has been created by the floods, the governor of Khuzestan recently alleged that the International Red Cross had criticized Iranian officials for providing aid higher than conventional standards for flood victims