Urbanization main cause of water scarcity
Iran’s population has doubled in the last 30 years, with a majority of people living in urban areas.
This population growth has increased energy and water consumption.
Mohammad Mirzaei, the head of Iran’s Society of Demographics, has blamed water shortage in Iran on rapid urban population growth and called for paying greater attention to natural resources when planning for population growth.
“Population growth can contribute to a country’s advancement in the initial stages, but could also be a cause for severe resource depletion and environmental degradation, if it is not well-managed,” he said.
“Iran’s population has multiplied very rapidly since past 93 years and increased urban population.”
Mirzaei noted that air pollution and water shortage are the result of population explosion and migration to big cities.
“Iran is now facing water shortage, but it could turn into a crisis in the two next decades,” he said.
Mirzaei also said people playing football on the bed of Zayanderoud river is a national disaster, warning that if the trend were to continue, the next generation would face a disaster.
Culture of contentment
“A rising number of one-storey buildings have been converted to multi-storey apartments in urban areas, with some apartment buildings having more than one bathroom, which has raised energy consumption,” he said.
The official regretted inattention to the culture of contentment among Iranians.
“Iranians’ behavioral patterns, particularly in recent years, are not based on contentment,” he said.
Mirzaei, however, said climatic condition must be taken into consideration, when planning for population growth.
“Covering an area of 1,648,000 square kilometers, Iran has a massive landmass but it is impossible to live certain areas, including parts of east and southeast, because of undesirable climatic conditions,” he said.
Mirzaei said two-thirds of land in Iran are desert areas and uninhabitable, which have led to rural migration and increased pressure on natural resources.
Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian recently said the amount of renewable water resources for every Iranian, which stood at 4,000 cubic meters in the late 1970s, has presently declined to less than 1,600 cubic meters.
Parviz Kordovani, a prominent desert expert, has blamed urban growth on water scarcity in Iran and criticized the water policies of previous government.
“The decision to transfer water from fertile lands to less fertile and dry lands was totally wrong. You cannot quench the thirst of dry land by doing this. On the contrary, you will increase and even worsen their thirst,” he said.
Nasser Karami, an Iranian environmentalist based in Norway, said if Iranians do not reduce water consumption, the fate of Somali people would await them.
“Expansion of deserts will cause more people to live in poverty, which will increase the country’s burden,” he warned.
Resolving water shortage is among the priorities of President Hassan Rouhani who, in his message at the start of the Iranian academic year (Sept. 23), said, “Iran is facing a severe water shortage, how could each of us help save our country’s water better?”
About 52 million Iranians are living in cities and only 16.2 million reside in villages.
According to experts, 30 percent of water losses are associated with old textures. Water depletion of more than 67 percent of Iran’s plains is another cause of water shortage in Iran.
Many major rivers and wetlands, including Zayandehroud, Orumieh, Bakhtegan, Parishan, Hamoun, Tashtak and Kashfroud, have dried up or turned into a place where wastewater accumulates.
Study to identify divorce triggers
Translated by Atefeh Rezvan-Nia
The National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR) and the State Organization for Registration of Deeds and Properties have launched a joint study to find the main reasons behind divorces in Iran.
Ali Akbar Mahzoun, the head of NOCR for statistics and population, added that the result of the study will be announced in the near future.
He, however, said drug addiction is believed to be one of the main reasons.
“Addicts could conceal their condition before marriage through several ways. Sometimes lab tests cannot accurately confirm that a person is a drug user,” he said.
Mahzoun said an addict must have a high sense of ethics to avoid marriage and ruin another person’s life.
The official earlier said more than 75,000 divorces were registered in Iran in the six months ending Sept. 22.
Statistic also revealed a much higher divorce rate in cities compared to villages.
“While addiction is thought to be a major cause of divorce in Iran, statistics show only 20 percent of addicts recover and the rest are very likely to reuse drugs,” said Babak Dinparast, the deputy of Drug Control Headquarters for reducing drug demand.
Children affected by divorce
Divorce and related problems could preoccupy children’s mind and reduce their concentration, said an Iranian psychologist.
Nasrin Ismaeilian added that parents should reduce their expectations and not blame their kids for their poor school performance.
“Parents should increase their emotional support for their children to reduce their risk of vulnerabilities to the lowest level,” she said.
Ismaeilian recommended that school teachers should also be informed about the issue, as it could help them empathize with the kids of divorced families and understand their situation.
“Children of divorce need more love and affection. The more they feel loved, the more their school performance will improve,” she said.
“Unlike adults, kids are unable to anticipate and guess how life would be like without a father or mother. They do not know how they would meet their needs after their parents’ separation so they perceive an uncertain future.”
The psychologist said children between 6 and 8 years become socially isolated and may experience difficulties communicating with their peers after their parents break up.
Professional help recommended
“Although they understand the reasons of divorce better than their younger siblings, most children of ages between 9 and 12 oppose their parents’ decision to divorce,” she said, explaining that children at this age still cannot make a fair judgment.
Ismaeilian said statistics show almost 25 percent of children at this age describe one of their parents as “good person” and the other as “bad person”.
“Instead of focusing on children’s school performance, try to alleviate their emotional pain,” she said.
“They could even show dangerous and risky behaviors at school and cause trouble to others.”
The psychologist noted that teenagers between 12 and 17 years respond to their parents’ divorce in other ways.
“They usually begin spending more time with their peers and classmates, and tend to be unorganized and undisciplined,” she said.
Ismaeilian urged divorced parents to seek professional help to reduce the impacts of divorce on their children.
Official recommends blood donation as “Nazr”
Iran’s Blood Transfusion Organization (IBTO) has called on people to consider blood donation as “Nazr” (a religious vow made to perform an act against fulfillment of a wish).
Dr. Ali Akbar Pourfat’hollah, the head of IBTO, said there is always a need for blood, as many surgeries are conducted daily across the country.
“In addition to surgeries and incidents, many patients suffering from chronic diseases also need blood regularly,” he said.
He noted that people mourning the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH) can fulfill their “Nazr” even 20 days after the end of the lunar month of Muharram, referring to the Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s decree regarding the issue.
The IBTO chief quoted the Leader as saying that mourners, who had vowed to donate blood on the ninth and 10th of Muharram and failed to fulfill it for any reason, could perform it later.
Pourfat’hollah said the rate of blood donation in the two days is three times more than in other days, which could be problematic.
“Certain blood factors such as platelets could not be kept for more than four hours, while there are many patients in need of them throughout the year,” he said.
The official said the organization’s personnel could be overloaded, if blood donation centers are frequented by a large number of donors in one or two days.
“This will also affect the accuracy and quality of services,” he said.
The High Council of Iranian Expatriates paid tribute to Iranian math Professor Maryam Mirzakhani on winning the Fields Medal.
In a ceremony organized by Ra’d Charity Organization in Tehran on Sunday, the father of Mirzakhani, Ahmad Mirzakhani, received a plaque of honor on behalf of her daughter.
Seyyed Majid Hallajzadeh, who represented the council, congratulated Prof. Mirzakhani’s father and her family members.
“Iran is proud of having such valuable assets. Young Iranian professors are contributing to the development of human knowledge around the world,” he said.
Ahmad Mirzakhani thanked the council and said honoring the elites and professors is an admirable tradition, which could encourage youths to seek higher education.
The event, which was expected to be held sooner, was postponed because Mirzakhani’s father was traveling.
Mirzakhani won the Fields Medal, known as the Nobel Prize of mathematics in August, which is the most precious math medal in the world. She is the first woman to receive such an award.
Ra’d Charity Organization supports young, talented Iranians to achieve success in the fields of science and culture.
The organization has established the first educational center for individuals with disabilities to discover their talents and help them seek higher education.
Stark choice for Japanese women: Children or career?
When Sasaki Hiroko was a teenager, her mother showed her a picture of a man in his twenties and said he would make a suitable husband.
“For women, [education] doesn’t matter,” her mother entreated. “Better to get married.”
Sasaki ignored her mother and went to university, and today, aged 43, she is married and has two small children. A successful food writer, she recalls the episode with a laugh, shaking her head at the absurdity, the Telegraph wrote.
In urban Japan, the days of arranged marriage are over. Women are highly educated and weddings are often put off until after the age of 30. But traditional attitudes, which dictate that being a wife and mother trumps having a career, linger.
In Japan, just 34 percent of mothers with children aged six or under work. Seventy percent of women in Japan leave the workforce after having their first child. Many never return.
It is not hard to see why. Between work, cleaning, cooking and looking after the children, Sasaki sleeps for only three hours a night. She and her husband, a financier and traditional type who leaves the household chores to her, have lived in America and Hong Kong.
She says that Japan is the hardest place of the three to be a working mother, but is adamant that she will not give up her job.
“I want to do something for myself,” she insists.
For many women, however, there remains a stark choice: children or career.
At the crux of the issue is a combination of tradition, punishing corporate culture and a shortage of childcare facilities. Often it is impossible for both parents to work: promotion for the “salaryman” is based on seniority and hours toiled, above performance, so most work into the night. During the week, fathers spend on average one hour a day with children under six.
For working women in corporations, hours are just as long; most workers feel they cannot leave until their boss leaves. Demand far outstrips supply for childcare in urban centers, with yearlong waiting lists for places. This is largely a result of misguided ideology.
Indian girl sweats, cries blood
In a rare case, a serious condition of Hemolacria has led an Indian teenage girl to cry and Hematidrosis makes her sweat blood. This is linked to bacterial conjunctivitis, environmental damage or injuries.