By Mark McConville

 

HEARTBREAKING images have revealed the devastating results drought can have and the very real effect climate change is having across the world.

Bibi jan (60 years old) – She has no family and is blind. She continues her life by getting help from her neighbors.
Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

 

The striking pictures show a small girl taking empty barrels to the well to fill with water, children bathing in a pool where a pump is placed while they have to walk two miles once a week for the privilege.

Pitgy is a village in the Jazmurian section in the southern Rudbar. A man carries a big tree to his house. He will make fences with this tree.
Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

 

Other harrowing photographs show an elderly blind woman in despair in her house, a village where the trees have dried up and the water reservoir is ruined and a man carrying a large tree to his house to make a fence.

Kahnouj city, Chah Beid village, children walk 3 kilometers once at week to bathe in the pool where a pump is placed.
Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

 

Documentary photographer, Mohammad Baghal Asghari travelled to the Kerman Province in Iran to capture the devastating results of drought in Iran.

Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

 

His photo series, Forgotten Dried Land is a raw look at the people living through the dawn of the sixth major mass extinction on earth.

Soghra complains that she has nothing in her house. She goes out to gather wood every day in order to keep her house warm and cook food.
Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

 

Besides the Kerman Province, other areas that have been hit hard by drought in Iran include West Azarbaijan Province, Khorasan Province and Bushehr. This drought has been going on for 30 years, resulting in dried up wells, farmers losing their palm tree crops, a lack of health facilities and plumbing so disease is rife.

Portrait of 12-year-old sisters in one of the villages of Ghale Ghanj.
Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

 

“The lack of rain has caused the destruction of underground aquifers and made cultivation virtually impossible and also dried out thousands of palm trees,” he said.

Chah Dad Koda village, ghale Ganj city, Children play with bicycling tires.
Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

 

“The people in Kerman used to cultivate palm trees and export them to other countries. They have lost the economy that was the primary source of income and prosperity in people’s lives.

 

“Out of desperation, they started using chemicals to grow palm trees – which had a severe effect on people’s health and did not restore their economy.

Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

“People started to leave and migrate to other cities and countries. The natives who stay are spending their days with these difficult conditions.”

 

Mohammad aims to show the Iranian government this series so they look at drought more seriously and consider effective solutions. He also wants people to be aware about water usage and not waste it.

Village of the galo: The central part of Qaleh Ganj city, Kerman. The trees of the village are dried and their water reservoir is ruined.
Mediadrumimages / Mohammad Baghal Asghari / Universal Features

 

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