Back in 2009, an unprecedented water level decrease of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers has left the rural population at the mercy of heat, drought – and deadly snakes!
Yes, people and cattle were attacked by swarms of snakes as the reptiles lost their habitats among the river beds.
This is another terrible consequence of intensive agriculture in this area of the world. The rivers that made Iraq’s dry soil so fertile (Euphrates and the Tigris) are drying up because the supply of water is now held back by dams and used for irrigation.
This water diversion has already destroyed a large swathe of Iraqi agriculture. Moreover, the desert is advancing and dust storms are increasing in numbers. In 2000, the flow speed of the water in the river was 950 cubic metres per second, but by 2009 it had dropped to 230 cubic metres per second.
Large parts of Iraq that were once productive farmland have already turned into arid desert (up to 50% of 1970 agricultural land is now being hit by desertification).
The Independent speaks more about this terrible but unheard of climatic change in Iraq. Yes because I do believe the situation has got better over the last few years!