“We used to buy water from tankers when there was a water shortage, but our water tanks [at home] now get filled without even using pumps,” said Harem Ali, a resident of Kirkuk’s Barutkhana neighbourhood.
The change is made possible as the Kirkuk Unified Water Project has been put in operation for the first time after its completion and testing last month.
Harem Ali is among Kirkuk’s residents who had to endure lack of drinking water for the past several years. They were forced to hire tankers to fill their water tanks at home, paying 15,000 Iraqi Dinar (around $12.60) per load.
But now, before 11 AM water reaches our neighbourhood, and we don’t even have to use pumps
“Our neighbourhood would only get water from the pipes after 6 PM, and sometimes even with pumps we wouldn’t get to fill our tanks. But now, before 11 AM water reaches our neighbourhood, and we don’t even have to use pumps.”
The Kirkuk Unified Water Project, which was started in 2010, cost the government 93 billion IQD ($93m). The water treatment plant, which can provide 12000 cubic metre of water to Kirkuk, was commissioned for a test on 2 July.
Halo Sa’di, a resident of Kirkuk’s Baba-Gurgur park neighbourhood, said: “Two months ago I would have to let two pumps work all night to get enough water, but since about 15 days ago water reaches us at night usually. I’m not saying the problem of water shortage has been solved, because some neighbourhoods get water from 8 AM, but we get it after 11 PM or even later.”
In Halo’s neighbourhood they still have to use pumps to get enough water, but there is “an improvement,” as Halo puts it.
Jihan Ibrahim, deputy director of Kirkuk’s Water Management Office, told KirkukNow: “The project has solved 95% of the water shortage problem.” “Water reaches all the neighbourhoods now,” she added.