World Vision has recently inaugurated one of the six boreholes it has drilled around areas in Erbil Governorate where water supply is critical. Erbil’s Water Directorate official Engineer Aveen Tahseen said the facilities are crucial in helping boost the supply in the city.
“We appreciate that World Vision has taken the initiative to look into this need and is providing the city with the much-needed assistance which is very critical at this point”, she said during the simple ceremony held in Darato sub-district.
Erbil City’s population has doubled with an estimated 260,000 displaced people (IDPs) coming from different parts of conflict-torn northern Iraq. This has put a huge weight on the city’s basic services, especially the water supply.
World Vision’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Manager Hani Chatila said, “This is a very strategic response to an urgent need with the goal of boosting the water supply in Baharka, Shawess, Darato and Binislawa sub-districts. We expect the project to help not just the displaced but also the host communities. It was a great opportunity to work with the directorate’s hardworking team.”
Vegetable shop owner Ismail Abuzaid, 48, said the water supply has improved considerably when the borehole started operating in Darato. “We have some difficulties before but this became even worse when the IDPs and refugees came. The borehole has helped respond to our need”, Abuzaid shared.
He recalled how people has to contend with collecting water for two days within the 15-day period because it was scarce. He added, “We do not have it for 24-hours but at least we have the supply daily.”
Drilling consultant Engr. Bashar Ali concurred that the government needs all the support for the IDP crisis and one of the most significant is water supply. “This is important as the government needs all the support it can get as the displacement worsens”, Engr. Ali added. He expressed concern that the crisis could still escalate and increase the influx of more IDPs more than the city can handle.
Erbil’s Water Directorate provided full support technically to the borehole project and provided the areas for the facilities. Chatila has commended the competence and cooperation of the directorate office that made the work efficient and fast. “World Vision was provided all the support we needed thus completion was much easier for us.”
World Vision has also provided WASH facilities in Mar Eliah Catholic Chaldean camp and is currently completing a multi-million water filtration facility funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) that can benefit over 40,000 people inside the camp and also the host communities in Khanke, Duhok Governorate.
By Cecil Laguardia, Communications Coordinator, World Vision Kurdistan Region of Iraq