As temperatures soar up to 45 degrees (Celsius) in this part of Kirkuk Province, there is no drinking water at a Kaka’i village (Mateeq) in Daquq District.
Residents have to pay tankers 20,000 Dinars (about $16) every few days for water deliveries, while many can’t afford it due to financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A well is the main source for water for the village. But the pump has been nonfunctional for a few months, and due to the preventive measures against the spread COVID-19 virus, authorities haven’t been able to repair it.
we live in bad conditions in this heat. Water is necessary for everything
“We’ve been suffering from lack of water for a long time now; we live in bad conditions in this heat. Water is necessary for everything,” Sangul Muhammad said.
Sangul is a housewife. She told KirkukNow about the lack of water and other difficulties the Kaka’i community face, most of which are lack of basic services.
She said they have waited long for the government to solve the water issue, but eventually they collected money to replace the pomp themselves.
The Mateeq village is located 10 kilometres from the centre of Daquq District. Most of the residents are Kaka’is. In 1982 the villagers were forced out by the Ba’th regime, but after the fall of the regime in 2003 they returned.
Many were displaced again in recent years due to lack of security and the ISIS war. Only 15 families still reside there, but they may also leave due to lack of services.
On top of lack of security, the Coronavirus outbreak, we lack water and other services
“On top of lack of security, the Coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown which has made us jobless, we lack water and other services,” said 49-year-old Nazim Hameed.
Nazim added that due to the preventive measures they were unable to sell their agricultural products since March.
“Next to bottled water, we buy water [from tankers] every few days, while we don’t have any income.”
The villagers have requested the government to solve their issue several times, but to no avails.
Louise Shekh-Afandi, the interim mayor of Daquq, told KirkukNow: “The village has had a water problem for a while. They sent a delegation to meet me and I wrote to the Water Department to solve the issue, but unfortunately, there is a lot of bureaucracy at the government institutions, and getting things done is not difficult.”
He added that many other villages in the same region have water issues.
Lack of security and services has led to the evacuation of five villages in Daquq District alone.
Daquq is within the disputed territories.