As Summer approaches, Water Scarcity Worry Residents of Bashiqa

Pictures of a number of water projects in Bashiqa sub-district. Media of government departments in Bashiqa

By Ammar Aziz

The residents of Bashiqa sub-district of Ninewa Province suffer from a scarcity of drinking water, and most of them are forced to buy water two or three times a month. The crisis coincides with the advent of summer and the increase in the population’s need for water.

The Salamiyah Water Project on the Mosul Dam, which is about 60 km from Bashiqa, represents the main source of drinking water in Bashiqa, Tilkef district and Bartella sub-district, where water is distributed to these areas alternately every four or five days.

“Whenever summer comes, our suffering begins with water scarcity. This problem has been going on for 50 years without a solution. I have to buy drinking water two to three times every month,” said Ghania Jalal, who lives in the Rabia neighborhood in the center of Bashiqa district.

“The price of a water tanker is 15 thousand dinars (USD10) ... Our region is rich in water, especially water from the Mosul Dam, but it is It does not reach us,”

Ghaniya Jalal, a teacher in her fifties, says that the neighborhood in which she lives is supplied with water once every four or five days.

“We grew up with this problem... everyone knows that we need more water in the summer to run coolers, drink, clothes and other daily uses,” she said. "We are tired of this problem and want to find a solution to it."

The Salamiyah Water Project was established 40 years ago, and violators take water from the project illegally, which hinders its adequate access to the regular subscribers and the total population.

The administration of Bashiqa was able in a short time to remove 1,300 violations of the project’s water, and is now trying to address the water crisis by drilling three wells.

Ghazwan Al-Daoudi, director of Bashiqa sub-district, told KirkukNow, “The Al-Salamiyah water project needs rehabilitation, or changing the course of the water to get rid of violations of the project, and this requires 50 billion dinars. The issue of rehabilitation was discussed without a decision being taken in this regard.”

“The other solution is to dig a number of wells. During the last period, we dug four wells in four villages and addressed the problem of water scarcity there, but the center of the district is still suffering,” he added.

"We are not able to address the problem 100 percent. We have obtained licenses to dig wells in the center of the district and we will begin work soon."

 Bashiqa is a district affiliated with Mosul, center of Nineveh Province, (12 kilometers northeast of the city of Mosul). Its population ranges between 150,000 and 160,000 people, according to the district administration. Its population consists of Shabak, Ezidis (Yazidis), Christians, Kurds, and Arabs. It is the second largest sub-district of Nineveh in terms of number population.

There are currently six thousand subscribers registered by the water department in the district.

Zaid Salem Abbo, director of the Bashiqa Water Department, told KirkukNow, “We are supplied with drinking water from the Salamiyah project every four days, and we distribute it fairly to the citizens... Next month we will dig three wells that will solve part of the problem.”

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