In November 2017, an earthquake of 7.3 on the Richter scale hit the Kermanshah province.
After five months, and despite all the claims from the authorities, made in the future tense – we will do this, we will do that – the earthquake-stricken population’s conditions have improved a little, thanks only to the help from the citizens and the private NGOs.
The earthquake disrupted the supply of clean water, electricity and heating/cooking fuel. In winter, rain, snow and more earthquakes added to the population’s miseries.
As they flip-flopped in mud, the need to warm the makeshift tents brought a fire hazard. The makeshift tents burned down, some with families in them. Nonetheless the government offered more words. No mid or long term planning for the reconstruction has started.
Of course, the media have published articles with numbers, stating they are according to officials, to show off the progress of the reconstruction.
However, real life stories and pictures tell us something different. The sewage system is broken, filthy water runs loose amid the tents, and waste piles up amid the rubble (municipalities have not collected it for months). These elements are serious health hazards, not to mention the loathsome stink filling the nostrils.
As the weather warms up, the fear of epidemics due to the filthy environment and water pollution grows. Moreover, snakes, scorpions, and rodents are multiplying in the rubble.
The government’s response has been to advise and help with spraying highly efficient chemicals, سمپاشی (literally spraying poison).
There is no clue as to the type of chemicals or the cocktail of chemicals used, or whether they have an impact on humans, especially children, pregnant women and the elderly. How many months would it take to see babies born with malformations or a surge in the number of cancers?
And when that happens, a grand ayatollah will blame the enemies of Iran.
If anyone considers this last statement as a quip from us, one should first evaluate his own shortcoming in his knowledge and understanding of Iran.
Before the Iranian New Year, 21st of March, during a visit to the province, the Minister of Intelligence, Hujjatu l-Islām Mahmoud Alavi had only this to say to the population: adhering to Islam and serving people will bring Allah closer to us.
Certainly, the sewage broth, polluted water, and rotting waste shall send many to their final resting place, and maybe, closer to Allah.
I don’t know if that would be an act of Allah, but it does seem like someone has put a curse on the country in the forms of hujjatu l-Islām (proof of Islam) and ayatollah (sign of Allah).
Who would clear the rubble and build again, if the Kermanshahi men are sitting on their hands waiting for the deceitful Leader to act?
Berakam! holding billboard to a blind regime is not enough.