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Isfahan Farmers Renew Their Protests For Government Inaction

Iran - Esfahan - Farmers` Protest Against Shortage of Water

Farmers in Isfahan province have renewed their protests related to lack of water and what they say is government’s indifference to their plight.

Isfahan was the scene of large protests by angry farmers in March and April. The protesters complained that over the years the government has deprived them of their right to the water sources of the region. They said that either by mismanagement or receiving bribes government officials diverted water from Isfahan to its neighboring province, Yazd.

Later, the government promised monetary compensation to farmers in areas east of the provincial capital Isfahan. But framers now say that what the authorities are offering is a meager sum of less than $50 (free market forex rate).

Farmers have not been able to cultivate crops or irrigate their orchards in the last 14 to 15 months, according to Iran’s ILNA.

According to official estimates, close to 90 percent of Iran has been experiencing drought for almost a decade.

A farmer’s representative told the news agency that the low offer of compensation angered the farmers who renewed their protest assemblies. He added that farmers feel ridiculed by the government which “plays games with them”.

The region’s economy is heavily dependent on farming and its related industries.

In March, Isfahan’s farmers swamped the Friday Prayer venue and turned their backs to the preacher. They shouted, “America is not the enemy – the enemy is right here”.