In Syria, the promising olive harvest, destroyed by fires
Souheil Dib was eagerly awaiting the harvest of olives from his farm in Tartus, in western Syria, but fires have destroyed entire areas of Syria in recent days, leaving the branches of his olive trees charred.
61-year-old Dib inspects each branch of these trees inherited from his father for the slightest sign of life, but they all snap in his hands.
“It had a hundred trees,” he says resigned. “I have never seen a fire like it in my life.”
Favored by high temperatures, some 150 fire outbreaks broke out at dawn on Friday in the coastal provinces of Tartus and Latakia (west) as well as Homs (center), destroying more than 9,000 hectares of agricultural land, forests, orchards and olive groves , according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha).
Three people died in Latakia, according to the health ministry, and 25,000 people have been evacuated in the three provinces, according to Ocha.
Authorities announced Sunday that they had controlled the fire. On Monday, the layer of ash that covered the disaster area was still smoky and the surrounding mountains were huge charred surfaces.
With the economic crisis that the country is suffering after more than nine years of war, Souheil Dib had this year on the harvest to guarantee its needs for oil and olives.
“Our hopes were placed on this season to compensate for our successive losses (…) The olives were already ripe and fat and if it had not been for these fires we would be preparing today to harvest them”, laments this man who has spent his life taking care of these trees.
Courtesy of web24.news