Another dead sea

The presidents of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, along with the Russian deputy prime minister have agreed to set up a joint fund to save what was once the world's fourth-largest freshwater lake.

The use of water for irrigating rice and cotton has greatly depleted the Aral Sea, which is in danger of running dry. Already, many ships are stranded in desert-like environs polluted with fertiliser toxins. Besides, the local population is facing widespread health problems.

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