Turkish water cuts in North and East Syria cause severe damage to agriculture, livestock, and public health, say specialists in Tabqa

TABQA, Syria — Over the course of several years, Turkish forces have persistently obstructed the flow of the Euphrates River to Syria despite repeated appeals from water resource experts and responsible authorities.

Experts and officials specializing in water resources in Raqqa, Syria, elaborated on the detrimental consequences of these water cuts in discussions with our newsdesk.

Imad Obaid, the head of the Euphrates Dam Operations Coordination Room, emphasized that the water shortage has resulted in the depletion of the strategic reservoir of the Tabqa Reservoir, amounting to approximately 4 billion cubic meters.

This acute scarcity has significantly impacted the availability of drinking water for residents and has fostered environmental pollution, leading to the spread of epidemics and infectious diseases.

Ahmed al-Abed, the head of the Irrigation Office in Tabqa, revealed that the water shortage has had an immediate and negative effect on agriculture, resulting in a considerable reduction in agricultural output.

He noted that the shortage of water from the Euphrates River has been detrimental to the well water systems which people have increasingly relied on to meet their daily needs. The levels of groundwater continue to decline, he said.

Engineer Mahmoud Muhammad from the Livestock Office in Tabqa confirmed that the reduction in water levels has inflicted severe damage on the livestock and fisheries sector, leading to a significant decline in the variety and quantity of fish. This has further exacerbated the shortage of white meat in the local market.

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In discussions earlier this month, the Health Committee of Kobane Canton raised concerns about a significant increase in cases of disease linked to pollution along the banks of the Euphrates River.

Aladdin Kno Atto, the spokesperson for the Health Committee of Kobane Canton addressed the issue, emphasizing that the reduced water level, caused by Turkey’s interference, is worsening water contamination and increasing diseases across the villages situated along the Euphrates.

There have been 6,879 reported cases of disease so far this year in the areas located along the banks of the Euphrates in Kobane Canton, said Atto.