Global lens: Herders left high and dry

China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-09-08 10:32
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Mustafa Ahmed, 13, herds buffalo toward a river in the Al-Mishkhab district on the outskirts of Najaf, Iraq, on June 23. ALAA AL-MARJANI/REUTERS

Drought increasingly imperils Iraq's water buffalo and rural communities' way of life

Petting a water buffalo before tying a fodder bag around its neck, Mustafa Ahmed, 13, cares for his father's herd in Iraq's southern province of Najaf, where his relatives have raised animals for generations — but the lack of water now threatens their livelihood.

Iraq forms part of the Fertile Crescent, land sweeping from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf which has been farmed for thousands of years. But the landscape has been devastated by upstream damming of Iraq's two main rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, lower rainfall trends and decades of conflict.

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