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RTXIJVFO
Climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq’s Marsh Arabs
On an island surrounded by the narrow waterways of the Chebayesh Marshes in southern Iraq, Sabah Thamer al-Baher rises with the sun to milk his herd of water buffalo.

This summer has been tough for Baher, a father of two. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels.
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDKE
August 15, 2021
Sabah Thamer al-Baher sits at his home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021....
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Sabah Thamer al-Baher sits at his home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source of income. Another drought is predicted for 2023 as climate change, pollution and upstream damming keep Iraq trapped in a cycle of recurring water crises. "The marshes are our life. If droughts persist, we will stop to exist, because our whole life depends on water and raising water buffaloes," said Baher. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDKG
July 07, 2021
Buffaloes are seen in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 7, 2021. Picture taken with a...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Buffaloes are seen in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 7, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSX
August 25, 2021
A child poses for a photograph at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
A child poses for a photograph at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSM
August 25, 2021
Sabah Thamer al-Baher milks a buffalo in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021....
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Sabah Thamer al-Baher milks a buffalo in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source of income. Another drought is predicted for 2023 as climate change, pollution and upstream damming keep Iraq trapped in a cycle of recurring water crises. "The marshes are our life. If droughts persist, we will stop to exist, because our whole life depends on water and raising water buffaloes," said Baher. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDNZ
August 25, 2021
Mohammed Thamer Al-Baher drives his boat as he collects reeds at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province,...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Mohammed Thamer Al-Baher drives his boat as he collects reeds at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDO5
August 25, 2021
Mohammed Thamer Al-Baher lies in a tent at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25,...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Mohammed Thamer Al-Baher lies in a tent at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDO1
August 25, 2021
Mohammed Thamer Al-Baher collects reeds after cutting them down at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province,...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Mohammed Thamer Al-Baher collects reeds after cutting them down at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDNR
August 25, 2021
Sabah Thamer al-Baher feeds his two-year-old daughter Fatema buffalo milk at their home in the Chebayesh...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Sabah Thamer al-Baher feeds his two-year-old daughter Fatema buffalo milk at their home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source of income. Another drought is predicted for 2023 as climate change, pollution and upstream damming keep Iraq trapped in a cycle of recurring water crises. "The marshes are our life. If droughts persist, we will stop to exist, because our whole life depends on water and raising water buffaloes," said Baher. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDNV
August 25, 2021
Children play at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Children play at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDKF
August 25, 2021
A woman sits in her home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
A woman sits in her home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSY
August 24, 2021
A man fishes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
A man fishes at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 24, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSQ
August 24, 2021
Sabah Thamer al-Baher prepares animal medicine to give to a buffalo at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Sabah Thamer al-Baher prepares animal medicine to give to a buffalo at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 24, 2021. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source of income. Another drought is predicted for 2023 as climate change, pollution and upstream damming keep Iraq trapped in a cycle of recurring water crises. "The marshes are our life. If droughts persist, we will stop to exist, because our whole life depends on water and raising water buffaloes," said Baher. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSN
August 24, 2021
Sabah Thamer al-Baher and his relatives capture a buffalo to give it medicine at the Chebayesh marsh,...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Sabah Thamer al-Baher and his relatives capture a buffalo to give it medicine at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 24, 2021. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source of income. Another drought is predicted for 2023 as climate change, pollution and upstream damming keep Iraq trapped in a cycle of recurring water crises. "The marshes are our life. If droughts persist, we will stop to exist, because our whole life depends on water and raising water buffaloes," said Baher. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDU8
August 15, 2021
A woman makes breakfast at her home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021....
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
A woman makes breakfast at her home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDT2
August 15, 2021
A rooster sits on top of a house at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. ...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
A rooster sits on top of a house at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDT1
August 15, 2021
A woman makes breakfast at home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
A woman makes breakfast at home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDT0
August 15, 2021
Sabah Thamer al-Baher sits by his home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021....
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Sabah Thamer al-Baher sits by his home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source of income. Another drought is predicted for 2023 as climate change, pollution and upstream damming keep Iraq trapped in a cycle of recurring water crises. "The marshes are our life. If droughts persist, we will stop to exist, because our whole life depends on water and raising water buffaloes," said Baher. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSZ
August 15, 2021
Buffalo milk and bread is seen on a tray at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021....
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Buffalo milk and bread is seen on a tray at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSW
August 15, 2021
A child sits by his home at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
A child sits by his home at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSV
August 15, 2021
Thamer al-Baher walks near his home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021....
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Thamer al-Baher walks near his home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDST
August 15, 2021
Buffaloes wade in the water of the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Buffaloes wade in the water of the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDSP
August 15, 2021
Men collect fish at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Men collect fish at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDKI
August 15, 2021
The house of Sabah Thamer al-Baher is seen in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15,...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
The house of Sabah Thamer al-Baher is seen in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 15, 2021. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source of income. Another drought is predicted for 2023 as climate change, pollution and upstream damming keep Iraq trapped in a cycle of recurring water crises. "The marshes are our life. If droughts persist, we will stop to exist, because our whole life depends on water and raising water buffaloes," said Baher.// REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDT3
August 14, 2021
Men pray at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 14, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Men pray at the Chebayesh marsh in Dhi Qar province, Iraq, August 14, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDKH
July 07, 2021
Low water levels are seen at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Low water levels are seen at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDKJ
July 06, 2021
Sabah Thamer al-Baher carries reeds at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 6, 2021. Iraq's...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Sabah Thamer al-Baher carries reeds at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 6, 2021. Iraq's 2020-2021 rainfall season was the second driest in 40 years, according to the United Nations, causing the salinity of the wetlands to rise to dangerous levels. Animals fell sick and died, and Baher was forced to buy fresh drinking water for his own herd of around 20 buffaloes, his only source of income. Another drought is predicted for 2023 as climate change, pollution and upstream damming keep Iraq trapped in a cycle of recurring water crises. "The marshes are our life. If droughts persist, we will stop to exist, because our whole life depends on water and raising water buffaloes," said Baher. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDKB
July 06, 2021
Children play at their home at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 6, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
Children play at their home at the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 6, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
CLIMATE-CHANGE/IRAQ-MARSHES
RTXIJDKD
July 06, 2021
A boy makes lunch at his home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 6, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier...
CHEBAYESH, Iraq
The Wider Image: "Our whole life depends on water" climate change, pollution and dams threaten Iraq's...
A boy makes lunch at his home in the Chebayesh marsh, Dhi Qar province, Iraq, July 6, 2021. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani SEARCH "MARSHES AL-SUDANI" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
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