People of the Lake | Al Jazeera World

The Aral Sea, located between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, was once the fourth-largest lake in the world, an immense body of fresh water covering a surface area of 68,000 square kilometres.

But that changed in the 1960s when the Soviet Union, in a bid to boost cotton farming, constructed dams on the two large rivers that flowed into it. Today, 90% of the Aral Sea has dried up.

Many predicted that the sea could never return, but the government of Kazakhstan has set out to reverse this man-made environmental disaster. Al Jazeera travels there and finds a faint glimmer of hope on the horizon.

2013 Al Jazeera Turk/ 2013 Al Jazeera English (Al Jazeera World strand)

Filmmaker: Ensar Altay

48 minutes