Women farmers in Deir ez-Zor affected by water shortage

This report was published by Jinha Women’s News Agency on 18 April, 2022

Women farmers in Deir ez-Zor, who have been suffering from water shortage as Turkey has cut off the water flowing into the Euphrates River, call on the international community to put pressure on Turkey.

Women engaged in agriculture in the rural areas of Deir ez-Zor, North and East Syria, have been facing many challenges due to drought. Turkey has decreased the levels of water flowing into the Euphrates River and this situation makes their lives even more difficult. The water shortage has affected many areas of life, particularly agriculture.

“Pressure should be put on Turkey”

45-year-old Hasna El-Heşeş is a farmer in Hajin, a small city in eastern Syria. “We have been engaged in farming for years. We have planted wheat, barley, cotton, and vegetables in our fields. Due to the fuel problem, we cannot bring fertilizers and seeds to our fields. Now, we face water storage,” she said that they started planting late this year due to the low rainfall. “Water is important for agricultural production. However, irrigation is very expensive this year. We have to pay 13,000 Syrian pounds per hectare. Although our fields are close to the Euphrates River, we face difficulties in irrigating our fields because the occupying Turkish state has cut off the water of the Euphrates River.”

Hasna El-Heşeş called on the international community to put pressure on Turkey in order to release the water and to support agricultural projects by providing seeds, pesticides, and other agricultural needs.

They dig water wells due to water shortage

“We earn a living from farming. However, we have been facing difficulties in planting due to high prices. We plant vegetables in summer. We dug a water well due to the water shortage,” farmer Hemda El-Hemid told NuJINHA.

“Turkey has committed a war crime”

“Agriculture in Deir ez-Zor is at risk this year due to the cut of the Euphrates River water.  We have been facing many challenges due to the low levels of water. The prices of agricultural materials are higher than last year. The ongoing water shortage causes farmers to face a disaster. The Ministry of Agriculture tried to find a solution for the water shortage; however, it could only solve this problem in Abu Herdûb and Baxoz,” Amina El-Salem, Co-chair of the Agricultural Management in Hajin, said that Turkey has committed a war crime by cutting off the water of the Euphrates River. “The UN and the international community should prevent Turkey from committing this crime,” she added.