By Cecil Laguardia, Communications Coordinator - Khanke, Duhok Governorate - Canadian Ambassador to Jordan Bruno Saccomani has commended the joint efforts of World Vision and the Duhok Governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq at the inauguration of the multi-million water treatment facility located in Khanke town. “The government of Canada was in Kurdistan from the very beginning of the crisis; we are here to help all the people in need”, Ambassador Saccomani said at the event held on 4 November 2015.
The ambassador added, “The government of Canada will continue working with World Vision, and we look forward to strengthening our relationship even further.” World Vision, together with delegations from the Embassy of Canada in Jordan, the Duhok Governorate and the Water Directorate of Duhok, has officially opened the water facility project located in Khanke town, a part of Duhok Governorate in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Khanke is home to over 18,000 internally-displaced people (IDPs) who fled their homes from the fighting in other areas of northern Iraq, majority of them from Sinjar.
Duhok Governor Farhad Atrushi lauded the efforts of the Canadian Government and World Vision, “It was incredible event to see various head stakeholders come together and inaugurate the facility.” He further thanked everyone and hoped the support to the governorate’s humanitarian efforts will continue. The old water facility of Khanke was established in 1985. Its supply comes from the legendary Mosul River. It has been needing rehabilitation work for years to boost its capacity and potential. As soon as World Vision has proposed for the program to assist the IDPs, the opportunity to include host communities was also considered.
Ambassador Saccomani commended Kurdistan Region’s exceptional character for showing hospitality and humility accommodating millions of IDPs since last year. The rehabilitated facility funded by the Canadian Government’s assistance will increase the water supply at six hours daily. Khanke town, including the camp, is composed of a majority of Yazidi population. Before the rehabilitation, the camp and the communities get water for only two hours every three days per week.
According to WASH Manager Hani Chatila, the rehabilitation of the old filtration units and tanks and water network expansion that brings the supply to communities and the internally-displaced will secure the supply needs of the people in the next 15 years. Khalil Sleiman, World Vision’s Response Manager for Kurdistan Region of Iraq, expressed appreciation to the Canadian Government and the Duhok Governorate for helping make the project possible. "World Vision is committed to continue working on the increasing humanitarian needs in the region. Partnerships such as this make our work efficient, timely and is able to benefit more people in dire need."
The USD$1.5M project, in close partnership with the local government, is one of World Vision’s biggest so far and is funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). The inauguration took place at the location of the water facility overlooking Mosul River.