POY RJI | Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

Category: Environmental Vision Award


Jalal Shamsazaran / New Vision Productions Inc.
“The wind will take us away”


Gabriele Cecconi / Freelance
“The Wretched and the Earth”


David Chancellor / Freelance
“'a gamekeepers life' - custodians of the highlands”


Matjaž Krivic / Freelance
“Lithium: the Driving Force of the 21st Century”

First Place

“The wind will take us away”

Sistan and Balouchestan in the Southeast of Iran is one of the regions that is affected harshly by the drying of Hamoun Lake. Climate changes, drought, reduction of rain, governmental mismanagement and drying of the lakes and wetlands are the most important problems. Water scarcity has led to the destruction of agriculture and livestock in the region and has widened unemployment and poverty. The government cannot afford to compensate unemployed farmers, while many farmers and livestock farmers are owed to the country's banking system because of a sharp decline in their income. More than 3,000 villages in the province with 347,000 people lack any water supply system and drinking water is provided by residents with tankers, which is often delayed and delayed. The spread of smuggling of drugs and drugs from eastern borders and the spread of respiratory and eye diseases caused by dust are another sign of drought
Before the drought in 1999, Sistan was considered the wheat store of Iran. By a reduction of the amount of water from the Hirmand River in Afghanistan entering into this region, Hamoun Lake and wetland, the only hope and point of power of the Sistan economy, was dried.
There has been an increase in the pace of the 120-days winds as a result of the drought in Hamoun Lake. This in combination with the dried sediments on the floor of the Lake have created environmental and health risks for the residents. More than four hundred thousand people are affected by this drought.