Posted By: AndiV
Date: Thursday, 29-Nov-2012 02:18:26
Aral Sea in Uzbekistan in 1968 and 2008.
All due to cotton production.
The Aral Sea used to be the fourth-largest inland sea on Earth, acting as an influencing factor in the air moisture and arid land use. Since the 1960s, the decade when the misuse of the Aral Sea water began, it has shrunk to less than 50% of its former area. Much of the water was and continues to be used for the irrigation of cotton fields, a crop requiring a large amount of water to grow.
The numbers of animal deaths and human refugees flows from the area around the sea can only be guessed.
The question of who is responsible for the crisis remains open – the Soviet scientists and politicians who directed the distribution of water during the 1960s, or the post-Soviet politicians who did not allocate sufficient funding for the building of dams and irrigation systems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzbekistan
This year, the authorities of Uzbekistan are taking unprecedented measures to mobilise a free labour force to pick the cotton harvest. Town and city dwellers are torn away from their jobs and homes, and are forcibly sent to agricultural locations.
A large part of the country’s residents essentially becomes slaves during the cotton picking campaign. This is despite the fact that Uzbekistan is a country with a high level of unemployment, and millions of the country’s citizens work abroad out of sheer necessity.
Cotton collection in Uzbekistan is forced labour, which takes place under the threat of the labourer losing their main job, and under the watchful eye of the police, and now – even under the machine gun barrels of the special forces. The involvement of security forces in sending town residents to the fields is not inspired by the authorities’ fear of protest – it is a demonstration of the ruling elite’s arrogance and feeling of absolute impunity.
It must be said, that many companies buying Uzbek cotton do not know anything about this or, they do not want to know.
Dumb slaves, or Cotton under the barrel of a gun