Shafaq News / A government official in Diyala announced on Friday the return of water to a lake believed to have healing properties for dermatological conditions in the eastern part of the province. Meanwhile, a crisis of thirst has struck the towns of Qazaniya and Mandali in eastern Diyala due to a decline in water revenues from Iran.
Mazen Akram, the director of Qazaniya district, located 113 kilometers east of Baquba, informed the Shafaq News Agency that water has returned to the "Haj Yusuf" lake situated between the Mandali and Qazaniya districts after nearly three months of drought. Many citizens visit this lake seeking relief from dermatological conditions.
Akram explained that the lake consists of surface water that springs from underground sources and has maintained its levels over past periods. However, it unexpectedly dried up due to a decrease in groundwater levels, drought, and the absence of rainfall in the surrounding areas over the past two years. Additionally, rising temperatures and evaporation further exacerbated the situation.
Akram emphasized that the "Haj Yusuf" water lake is considered a rare and remarkable landmark. People from various regions visit it, believing in its ability to treat dermatological conditions due to the presence of sulfuric substances, according to scientific perspectives. Nevertheless, the treatments do not offer a universal remedy for all dermatological cases. He pointed out that dozens of people, mostly Iraqis, visit the lake daily, with numbers increasing during holidays, religious occasions, and particularly in September each year.
Between its status as blessed water and its mineral and sulfuric content, visitors immerse themselves in this aquatic basin and rub its mud on their skin, which provides a tingling sensation and a sensation similar to a snakebite. Consequently, the Haj Yusuf shrine has earned the nickname "Abu Haya" among locals.
Haj Yusuf, also referred to by locals as "Hai Yusuf," is said to be descended from Imam Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib. Some researchers believe he was a messenger during the early Islamic conquests in the eastern lands, and it is said that he served as a water carrier for the army.
The shrine and lake are located between the Qazaniya district and the Mandali district, east of Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. The city of Mandali, formerly known as "Bandanjigin," is famous for its historical sites, multiple shrines, rivers, orchards, and water mills. It is adjacent to Iran on the eastern border of Iraq, and the majority of its residents are Kurds of the Fayli group.