Thousands Demonstrate Against Water Mismanagement in Isfahan

On Friday, November 19, thousands of citizens and farmers assembled and protested in the dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud in Isfahan.

Since last Sunday, these farmers have been on a sit-down strike in protest of authorities’ ongoing mismanagement of the water supply. They ask for their water supply for the fall wheat planting and revival of the river Zayandeh-rud, most of which is now dry. Moreover, the lack of water crisis management has affected the living conditions of many farmers.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, thousands of citizens in Isfahan have been assembled in dried up stretches of the river Zayandeh-rud and near the Khaju Bridge. Reportedly, in this area, the internet connection is intentionally disrupted.

The protestors chanted, “Let Isfahan breath, give Zayndeh-rud back”, ” Zayndeh-rud is our inalienable right”, and “We won’t get back home, not until the water gets back to the river.”

Along with land subsidence and water shortage, the way the shortage has been handled has worsened the living conditions of about one hundred thousand farmers in eastern Isfahan.

The farmers have assembled to protest several times, but they have not received any proper response from authorities. Once in response to these issues, parliament member Hossein Mirzaie recommended “rain praying” as the only solution.

As a backlash, the farmers assembled at the office of parliament member Hossein Mirzaie and asked him to pray to see if it rains. “We are waiting for the MP to come here and do rain prayer,” the farmers stated. “We go here on sit-down strike until it rains.”

Earlier, parliament member Abas Moghtadai promised that, along with other Isfahan members of parliament, he would have a meeting with the president to address their issue. However, as of this writing, no report has been published on the holding of this meeting or its resolution.