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Straddling the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea was once the fourth-largest saline lake in the world, an inland sea of 66,000 square kilometres. But in 1950, the Soviets diverted the two rivers that fed it in order to irrigate fields and grow cotton. Little by little, the Aral Sea dried up, ruining thousands of livelihoods. Since the construction of a dam in 2005, the water is slowly beginning to rise, and with it residents' hopes. FRANCE 24 went to meet them.
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