KRG devotes 2.5 billion IQD to combat drought – statement

The KRG also allocates 1.5 billion dinars to solve the issue of drinking water in Erbil

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will dedicate 2.5 billion dinars ($1.7 million) in funds to combat drought in the Kurdistan Region, the department of media and information said on Friday.

“As the first phase of its water security strategy, the government will be distributing funds to each provincial water directorate to implement their own drought-combating measures,” it said in a statement.

It further said 925 million dinars of the funds would be allocated to Erbil province, while one billion IQD would be deovoted to Sulaimani and Halabja provinces as well as Garmian and Raparin administrations.

The media and information department added that another 575 million would be dedicated to Duhok province.

The KRG had also allocated 1.5 billion dinars in emergency funds to address urgent water shortages in Erbil province, according to the statement.

Dozens of neighborhoods in Erbil have faced shortages of water over the past month. Residents in the governorate protested in recent days demanding that the KRG respond to their demands.

An official in the ministry of Peshmerga said on Friday that the ministry would use military tanker trucks to distribute water to the neighborhoods in Erbil that do not have drinking water.

Authorities have warned that the Kurdistan Region is facing drought and shortages of water due to low rainfalls and the construction of dams in Turkey and Iran, which has reduced water flows to the Region.

In June, the KRG also allocated 2.5 billion dinars in funds to provide drinking water for people in the Region.

Water levels in Dukan and Darbandikhan dams have dropped to below 50 percent, officials at the dams have said.

The ministry of agriculture and water resources said in May that the KRG was planning to build nine more dams across the Region as part of measures to reduce impacts of drought.

In July, the KRG dedicated 13 billion Iraqi dinars ($8.9 million) to complete the construction of unfinished dams in the Region.

As many as 16 dams have remained unfinished in the Kurdistan Region. Officials had said a lack of a budget was the reason why they were left uncompleted.

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