Iraq – Dust storms hit the governorates of Iraq

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Location: Baghdad – Iraq

Language: Arabic

Voice: Natural

Duration: 00:04:49

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Clients

Dateline: 06-05-2022

Storyline:

The Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and several governorates were hit by a severe dust storm; where thick layers of dust covered the houses, and the visibility in some areas was below 50 meters, especially on the external routes linking the governorates.

This is the first time in decades that Iraq has witnessed an increase in the number of severe dust storms during a very short period.

Iraq is one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change and desertification in the world due to the increasing drought with high temperatures that sometimes exceed 52 Celsius in summer.

Shot list:

  • Soundbite (Amer Al-Jabri – Director of Information at the Department of State and Seismic Monitoring):

“We expect that during this year there will be an increase in dust storms as a result of the lack of rain and the increase in desertification in Iraq, in addition to the loss of the green belt. The major problem we are suffering from is the erosion of agricultural lands and the construction of residential complexes instead. This is a big disaster on the green belt. Now, we are also suffering from the problem of dry rivers and lakes in the Diyala governorate. This problem affects the climate and global warming.”

  • Soundbite (Hassan Nabil – Citizen):

“Today, the green area has become almost non-existent due to the corruption in various state departments, including the Ministry of Agriculture, the Baghdad Municipality, and most of all government institutions that are supposed to work in this field. For several years, there have been reports that Iraq needs more than 3 billion trees so that we can plant all the desert areas, starting from Nineveh all the way to the western governorates and towards the southern governorates. We heard that the government agencies intend to plant these areas, but we have not seen anything yet.”

  • Soundbite (Sabah Al-Taie) – Citizen):

“It is natural to see dust in Iraq because there is no plan by the government authorities and the Ministry of Agriculture to address the desertification, which has begun to creep towards the cities, especially Baghdad. They were supposed to think of a green belt around Baghdad or Iraq in general, because the dust comes from the western side of Syria. There is a clear government failure in managing this file. There are no precautions given the lack of rain, and we will always suffer from dust in Iraq.”

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