Addio al lago d’Aral, diventato ormai un’enorme distesa di sabbia

di Redazione 63

Non molto tempo fa, il lago d’Aral era il quarto lago d’acqua dolce più grande al mondo. Oggi, a circa 20 anni dalla rilevazione che gli aveva assegnato questa posizione in graduatoria, è composto solo per il 10% delle sue dimensioni precedenti di acqua. Il restante 90% è solo sabbia. In quello che il segretario generale dell’ONU Ban Ki-moon ha chiamato “uno dei disastri più scioccanti del pianeta”, il lago d’Aral si è letteralmente prosciugato.

Ma com’è possibile che una delle più massicce distese d’acqua al mondo sparisca? Uno dei responsabili principali fu la guerra fredda dell’epoca sovietica, e la poca attenzione alle risorse ambientali che si aveva in quel periodo in cui l’ambientalismo era l’ultimo dei problemi.

Un progetto destinato ad incrementare la produzione di cotone in una regione arida come l’Uzbekistan finì con il deviare i fiumi che alimentano il lago d’Aral lontani dal loro letto naturale. Senza i fiumi che alimentavano il lago, questo ha semplicemente e costantemente avviato un prosciugamento che è durato degli anni. E ora il 90% di tutto il lago d’Aral è andato.

La prova più lampante sono le immagini che ci arrivano in questi giorni, in cui si nota un enorme flotta di navi e imbarcazioni (il lago d’Aral era una volta sede di una fiorente economia di pesca) incagliate nella sabbia. Ban Ki-moon ha osservato quello che rimane del lago durante la sua visita nella regione, e ha dichiarato:

Sul molo, io non vedevo nulla, ho potuto vedere solo un cimitero di navi. E’ chiaramente uno dei peggiori disastri ambientali del mondo. Ero così scioccato

ha spiegato all’Huffington Post. La catastrofe del lago d’Aral è stata una delle preoccupazioni principali per il segretario dell’Onu durante il suo viaggio di sei giorni attraverso la regione, che l’ha portato a chiedere ai leader dei Paesi limitrofi di mettere da parte le rivalità e cooperare nella riparazione del danno. Tuttavia, la cooperazione è ostacolata dai disaccordi su chi ha diritto sulle scarse risorse idriche e come queste dovrebbero essere usate.

Le controversie internazionali tra il Tagikistan e l’Uzbekistan, oltre ai diritti di sbarramento idroelettrici, hanno finora impedito il ritorno dell’acqua al lago che rischia di morire. E’ sempre più pressante la richiesta che venga trovata una soluzione, specialmente ora che le popolazioni assetate crescono di dimensione.

Fonte: [Treehugger]

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