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