Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, Sept. 16, 2018 - Ten months have passed since an earthquake hit Kermanshah and dozens of aftershocks have kept the fear of a new catastrophe looming over the city and its population. But a new earthquake isn’t the most imminent danger that threatens to accelerate the deterioration of living conditions.
Fati, a 32-year-old housewife, says that they still don’t have a proper tent for living. With two four- and six-year-old kids she has to live with four other relatives in a tent that was originally created for four people.
The housing situation is so catastrophic that some of the residents are reportedly selling their kidneys in order to rebuild their homes.
In an interview with Iran’s Ilna news agency on September 14, Sarpol-e Zahab’s City Council Chairman accuses Hassan Rouhani’s administration of inaction and considers this the reason why some citizens are selling their kidneys.
He adds: “The mental situation of the citizens is very troubling. Hygiene and sanitation are very inadequate, and the municipality hasn’t yet given us any money to do something. I wish the Ministry of Interior would say what services they’ve provided for a city like Sarpol-e Zahab.”
On September 5, Irna news agency wrote about the housing situation: “Earthquake-stricken [families] with sick or elderly members or little children are more concerned, because if they don’t succeed in building their shelters, they have to spend a second cold winter in makeshift Conex houses and tents, not to mention the grueling summer heat they have to bear right now.”
And while the situation is far from normalized, state agencies are leaving the area one after another.
“On arrival, many of the agencies which came to the area, put up banners in the city saying that they will stand together with the earthquake victims until the end. Unfortunately, many agencies didn’t stay in the area and declared that they want to leave,” says Sarpol-e Zahab’s City Council Chairman.
On June 23, Iran’s Parliament news agency quoted an MP from Kermanshah saying: “Arrangements were made to give villages 350-million- and cities 400-million-rial loans but unfortunately, it was never realized.”
On August 18, Mehr news agency published a story-like report about the situation in Kermanshah nine months after the earthquake. Describing the situation of a family in Sarpol-e Zahab the report says: “She opens water on the soap that covers the 4-5-year-old boy’s face. The child’s body crumples under the sudden impact of the water’s cold temperature.”
The 40-year-old mother who lost her two brothers in the earthquake says: “I wash the kids in the toilet. We have one toilet for 40 people.” Referring to politicians and state affiliated celebrities who make empty promises and show off without helping them she continues: “Some people come here and take photos with our miseries.”