Dam director declines to comment

Duhok Dam faces waste management crisis as officials shift blame

DUHOK — Since starting operations in 1988, the Duhok Dam has been a pivotal water resource for agriculture in the Kurdistan Region. However, it is now facing a growing waste management crisis. This issue is exacerbated by the increasing number of tourists visiting the area, which has led to a significant rise in litter and debris.

Local authorities and the Duhok municipality have noticed the escalating problem, attributing it to factors beyond their control. Ismail Mustafa, spokesperson for the Duhok Municipality, explained to 964media that while a company contracted by the municipality is tasked with trash collection within the city, its responsibilities do not extend to the dam area. “The company has voluntarily cleaned the site several times, but since the Duhok Dam lies outside the municipal boundaries, it is not within their mandate to maintain cleanliness there continuously,” Mustafa said.

Despite multiple awareness campaigns, littering still blights the Kurdistan Region’s countryside and bodies of water, with public attitudes towards the issue proving hard to shift.

Mustafa said responsibility for addressing the waste issue at the dam falls on the dam’s management, noting the absence of municipal directives for cleaning the reservoir. “It’s essential for the Duhok Dam to find a solution to manage the accumulating waste; we have no orders to clean it,” he stated.

Ferhad Mohammad Taher, the director of Duhok Dam, declined to comment on the matter.

The Duhok Dam, located north of Duhok city in the Kurdistan Region, holds about 28 million cubic meters of water and is indispensable for the region’s agriculture. The confusion over responsibility for cleanup underscores a gap in coordination between local authorities and the dam’s management regarding waste management strategies.

Littering and waste accumulation at the Duhok Dam, a key source of water in the Kurdistan Region, pose serious threats to both agriculture and water resource management. The degradation of water quality due to pollution can compromise agricultural productivity by contaminating irrigation water, thereby affecting crop health.

The environmental impact also disrupts aquatic habitats and biodiversity, while the accumulating waste presents operational challenges for the dam’s management.

Begard Talabani, the minister of agriculture and water resources, recently announced plans for the construction of more dams across the Kurdistan Region as water management becomes an ever-pressing issue. When asked about this story, she advised 964media to “contact the dam director,” referring back to Taher. Further attempts to reach Taher were unsuccessful.