People of the Iraqi town of Khanaqin and the local government have kept the district green, increasing “the green space to 16 percent” and trying to further raise that rate, with which people breathe fresher air.
Khanaqin might be the only district in the Iraqi disputed areas that satisfy its people with its environment. Annually, its residents launch tree planting campaign as their awareness level of keeping their district clean and green is high.
Hassan Mohammed, a resident of Tolafrosht neighborhood in the district, is one of the people who are proud of the environment of Khanaqin. “The municipality serves the environment of the city very well. They plant trees and have kept the city clean. Actually, people of Khanaqin keep the district clean and like greenness. Each family has trees and garden in front of their houses,” He said.
The municipality serves the environment of the city very wel
“We breathe a clean air and the environment of the city (the temperature), compared to 10 years ago, is cooler and the city center is overwhelming.”
According to Khanaqin’s municipality figures, the green space in the district is 16 percent, which is higher than the standard level. The standard level is 10 to 15 percent and it depended on the overall all green space of the country.
The percent was higher in the past two years because at least 40 orchards were set on fire by unknown people.
Mohammed stated, “the environment and the air was even better before that two years, we should attempt to make it better.”
Annually, people alongside the government launch tree campaigns, generally planting six thousand trees per year, according to the municipality figures.
Hisham Palawan, a resident of Khanaqin, said, “we are happy that through our attempts and the attempts of the municipality, we can breathe a healthy air. The reality that the people of Khanaqin have a high level of environmental awareness has to be mentioned. They significantly care about the environment.”
They significantly care about the environment
Palawan yearly participated in planting tree and has a small garden in his house. He has plant orange, grape, and palm trees in his garden.
In the Khanaqin district, two municipality serve the district, one is under the jurisdiction of the federal government and the other one belongs to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Soran Ali, head of the KRG municipality, said that the reason that the district is clean is because refineries have for years been moved out of the district, which has effects on the environment of the center of the city. Also, the oil companies are at least 30 to 40 km away from the district.
“There had been years in which 12 thousand trees were planted in a single tree planting campaign, annually such campaigns are launched during fall and spring, the school and the offices of the government take part in them.
There are at least 10 gigantic orchards in Khanaqin, the area of some of them mare 10 donums- each donum is 2500 square meters.
However, Khanaqin lacks sufficient number of gardeners and workers to main the green space of the district.
The KRG municipality 102 gardeners and 12 workers declined to 32 gardeners and two workers after the withdrawal of the Kurdish Forces in the district on October 16, 2017, when federal jurisdiction was reestablished in the disputed areas.
“We have asked for signing contracts with 200 workers to maintain the plants and the trees, if our request is addressed, Khanaqin environment will be further improved.”