"Iraqi Farmers Driven To Suicide As Drought Steals Livelihoods"

"AL-MESHKHAB, Iraq - The worst drought Abed Hameed al-Brahimi has ever seen has killed virtually everything around him: his rice farm, most of his livestock and chickens - and accelerated a rural exodus that is jeopardising Iraq's future stability.

His home now resembles a desert, rather than the green oasis it was a year ago. Without water to irrigate his fields, he has not planted a single seed of rice, which used to feed his family of four and provide a surplus he could sell.

His guard dog does not bark. Thirsty and famished, it barely tilts its head in the direction of the strangers traversing its domain, oblivious to the sounds and sights around it.

"What is happening to us has never happened before. We are completely destroyed," Brahimi, 45, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, standing next to his brown fields in al-Meshkhab, a town some 200 km (124 miles) south of the capital Baghdad.

"This year our lives ended all at once.""

Nazih Osseiran reports for Thomson Reuters Foundation November 17, 2022.

Source: Thomson Reuters Fdn., 11/18/2022