This town of floating houses, aka the Garden of Eden, the Mesopotamian Venice, or the Ma’dan, was a wetland area in southern Iraq. The name of these floating houses was “mudhif,” and their construction usually took place in less than three days. It is also important that they were built without using any nail, glass, or wood. Even the islands on which a house stand were made of mud and rushes.
Although it is a construction method that has been in use for thousands of years, the structures are about to disappear. It is because of the political situation in the country. During the 1991 uprisings, Saddam Hussein dried up the wetlands in the southern Iraq to punish the marsh Arabs (people living in mudhifs) for supporting the uprising and providing shelter for the regugees. As a result, the Mesopotamian Venice turned into a desert as the villages were burnt down, and the remaining water was poisoned. As for the residents, they had to Iranian refugee camps
Fortunately, a recovery process started in 2003, after the US invasion of Iraq. The drought came to an end, and the mash Arabs started to return their homeland. Howerver, there is no clean water, and the sanitation is poor. So, the process of restoring the eco-system might take a long time.