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Threat of water scarcity looms large in Sulaimani

  2021-05-26  | 
 Zhyan News Network
A view of Sirwan River amid drought and reduction of its flow by Iran in Kalar district, Garmian administration, Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq, May 25,2021. Photo by Hemn Merwaisy/ Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Kurdistan Region’s Sulaimani governorate is under the threat of lack of sufficient drinking water in dry and hot summer amid lack of rainfall in the year and upstream projects by Iran on the water resources entering the governorate. 

On Tuesday, Chamchamal mayoral office warned that it can provide the residents in the district two days in a week during summer that would send people vulnerable to “tens of diseases and humanitarian catastrophes.”

It also called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and relevant authorities to implement Goptapa-Chamchamal water project to “save over 200,000 people from thirst and will benefit the center of the district, Takia, Shrosh, Afjalar sub-district and tens of villages.”

Amanj Jalal, the spokesperson for Sulaimani General Water Directorate, echoed the danger and accused the KRG of negligence in combating the risk.

“There is no problem of distributing [drinking] water for the time being, but there will be lack of water the following months following rises in temperatures and people’s needs,” Jalal told a local media outlet. 

Photos have recently been circulated on social media featuring considerable effects of drought on Sirwan river due to restrictions by Iran. 

“60 percent of Sirwan river flows have been contained by Iran and 30 percent is being given to people,” organizer of Sirwan Revival Campaign Aras Muhammad told a local media outlet.

The river secures 80 percent drinking water to residents in Kalar district in Garmian administration. 

He also noted another threat on the flow which is the presence of over 40 sand and gravel factories.

“The factories will change the environment of the water direction and dull its water after mixing it with some materials,” he said 

Earlier this month, the KRG Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources said nine dams will be constructed to contain water. 

On Wednesday, KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani said that a supreme board has been created to counter drought.

“Drought and water crisis are a big danger If we do not work on it thoroughly,” Talabani said.

(Zhyan English)