The dream of returning home remains distant for Tala’far displaced families

November 1, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Kirkuk- A boy in an IDPs camp in Laylan fetches drinking water in plastic jerry cans, 2017 Photo: KirkukNow

Karwan Salhi- Kirkuk

After spending four years in IDPs camps, tens of displaced families form Ninawa’s Tala’far district are still unable to return to their homes. The reason is that their homes no longer exist, after they were flattened during the war on ISIS.

Tala’far, 70 km west of Mosul was controlled by ISIS militants in mid-2014, forcing thousands of families to flee their homes.

Although the town has been recaptured since August 2017, the majority of the families have not returned yet.

Ammar Salim, a civil servant at the municipality of Ayazia, a sub-district associated with Tala’far, fled soon with the arrival of the terrorist group and is now living in an IDPs camp in Kirkuk province.

“we got fed up with this life. We’ve been suffering sickness and pain. We ask the Iraqi government to rebuild our areas”, he said.

ISIS completely destroyed my house. Our sub-district is still in ruins; therefore we are unable to return

Ever since his small town was retaken from ISIS, Ammar has been there twice. “ISIS completely destroyed my house. Our sub-district is still in ruins; therefore we are unable to return”, Salim complains.

 Bahiya Mahmoud and her 8 member family live in Kirkuk’s Yahyawa camp. “Our life here is miserable. I have two daughters who used to go to school but there is no school in this camp”, she told KirkukNow.

It is still unclear what plans the new Iraqi cabinet has to help rebuild devastated areas and ease the return of displaced families to their areas of origin.

Shu’aib Muhmmad, Yahyawa camp manager, indicates that “out of 720, an estimated 567 displaced families from Tala’far are still housed in the camp”.

He urged the Iraqi government and international organizations to speed up the rebuilding of the war-stricken areas or provide compensations to help these families rebuild their lives.

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