Gifted by the Iraqi governemnt

Halabja receives shipment of 30,000 saplings

HALABJA – Halabja has received a shipment of 30,000 saplings from the Iraqi government as part of a broader initiative to address the enduring aftermath of the 1988 chemical attack on the city by Saddam Hussein’s regime. Preparations are currently underway to plant the saplings.

The delivery followed a visit by a delegation from Iraq’s Ministry of Environment on the anniversary of the chemical attack, during which extensive soil and atmospheric tests were conducted to evaluate the lingering impact of chemical weapons on the environment.

Sarhang Abdulrahman, from Halabja’s Environmental Department, told 964media that a committee comprising local stakeholders is working on the planting of these saplings. The species include eucalyptus, olive, pine, and fan palms, among others.

According to Sarhang Abdulrahman of Halabja’s Environmental Department, a local committee comprising stakeholders is actively involved in the saplings’ planting process. The selected species, including eucalyptus, olive, pine, and fan palms, have been chosen for their suitability to the region’s ecosystem.

Abdulrahman indicated that specific planting dates are yet to be finalized, pending decisions from the committee, which includes members from the environmental department. The plantation and subsequent growth of these saplings are anticipated to significantly transform Halabja’s landscape.

Previously, a team from the Iraqi Ministry of Environment conducted a series of soil and water tests in Halabja to examine the impact of chemical weapons. Abdulrahman told 964media that “Although previous tests have shown minimal chemical warfare effects on Halabja, the Iraqi team’s visit aims to provide further assurance.”

The chemical attack on March 16, 1988, part of the Anfal genocidal campaign against the Kurds, resulted in over 5,000 deaths and more than 10,000 injuries. This tragic event continues to haunt the community, underscoring the profound human and environmental toll of chemical warfare.