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‘Our whole life depends on water’: Climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq’s Marsh Arabs

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By Charlotte Bruneau and Thaier Al-Sudani CHEBAYESH MARSHES, Iraq (Reuters) – On an island surrounded by the narrow waterways of the Chebayesh Marshes in southern Iraq, Sabah Thamer al-Baher rises with the sun to milk his herd of water buffalo. This summer has been tough for Baher, a father of two. Iraq’s 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source…

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