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ARAL SEA DRIES UP


KAZAKHSTAN – The drying up of a body of water has been deemed one of the planet’s most shocking environmental disasters!

At one point, the Aral Sea was the world’s fourth-largest lake. Now it stands as a mere shadow of its great self. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the drying up of the Aral Sea a “shocking disaster” and has issued a message to Central Asian leaders to step up efforts to solve the problem.

The Aral Sea has shrunk by 90 percent thanks in large part to the rivers that feed it being diverted by a Soviet project to boost cotton production in the arid region. The sea was integral in the once robust fishing economy in the region and now has left layers of highly salted sand in its wake. The sand could potentially cause problems as winds may carry it as far as Scandinavia and Japan and could present health concerns with local people.

“I think that it is the collective responsibility of not only the people of Central Asia, but also the whole world. I have been very inspired when I have learnt that the government has been undertaking all measures to struggle against the consequences of this act of nature,” said Ban Ki-moon.

In meeting with the five leaders of Central Asia, Ban Ki-moon voiced his appreciation for the international fund charged with saving the sea and pledged the UN’s assistance in rescue efforts.

“We should become better stewards in managing the environment,” he said. “We must deliver this Planet Earth to our succeeding generations, so that they can live in a more hospitable, in a more environmentally sustainable way.”