According to the Director General of Khuzestan’s (part of Al-Ahwaz) Environmental
Protection Mr. Ahmedreza Lahijanzadeh that stated due to lower water going to Al-Azim wetland, more than five thousand fish died in recent days.
The death of more than 5000 fish in the Al-Azim wetland happened as a result of the drought who posed to the marsh due to the construction of a Karkheh dam on the Karkheh River, the river that secure Al-Azim wetland.
Also due to the activities of the Iranian oil company in the wetland where the government allocated more than 7000 hectares of the marsh area to the oil company in 2008 on the condition of putting all environmental laws into consideration, but oil company did not care all laws and dried up marsh and divided the wetland by creating new roads for oil extractions as well as the evacuation of oil waste in the remaining live area of Al-Azim wetland
The deaths of fish in the Al-Azim wetland occurs every year in the months of August and September as a result of reducing the level of incoming water to wetland due to Ahwazi river water’s diversion resulting to high degree of temperature and humidity and oxygen depletion that led to death of thousands of Ahwazi fish.
Al-Azim wetland with an area of 125 thousand hectares located between Ahwazi and Iraqi borders is the last remaining Mesopotamia wetlands and the most important wetlands of the Middle East.
In the similar context the studies’ results indicated that the amount of mercury in Khor Moussa in Ma’shour, is higher than the global average and its fish are contaminated with high level of mercury.
Its alarming indicator of the fish contaminated with mercury where the local people in Ma’shour first diet is fish and subsequently there are health implications towards Ahwazi Arab people.
Neurological and behavioral disorders may be observed after inhalation, ingestion or dermal exposure of different mercury compounds. Symptoms include tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular effects, headaches and cognitive and motor dysfunction. Mild, subclinical signs of central nervous system toxicity can be seen in Ahwazi Arab people exposed to an elemental mercury level for several years. Kidney effects have been reported, ranging from increased protein in the urine to kidney failure.
Ma’shour city in Al-Ahwaz has large number of petrochemical industries where the local people are stating that the companies are pouring the chemical wastage into Ahwazi river without considering the international law and health care.
Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights