Water Shortage Crisis in Assyrian Towns in North Iraq

July 2014

(AINA) — The water purification plants in Mosul supply water for the city and surrounding areas. After taking control of Mosul on June 10, ISIS severely limited the water supply from al-Rashidiya and al-Slamiya water projects, which provide the Northern and Southern Nineveh Plain with potable water (AINA 2014-06-272014-06-18). According to a report by the Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, ISIS is allowing only about 90 minutes of pumping per day.

The Assyrian towns of Baghdede, Karemlis, Bartella, Tel Kepe, Batnaya and Bashiqah — home to nearly 200,000 Assyrians — face severe water shortages.

Residents have begun digging wells to secure water, but are limited by a lack of funding.

The towns of Baghdede, Karemlis and Bartella, with a population of 70,000 Assyrians, require more than 20 Artesian wells to supply the water needs of the residents. Each well typically costs about $30,000 to install, with operating crews and generators. $600,000 is required to install these wells.

Donations have come forth. The Christian Endowment will finance 4 wells; the Consulate of The United Arab Emirates has pledged money for 4 wells.

The Hammurabi Human Rights Organization, an NGO based in Baghdad, has stated that it is prepared to begin installing wells pending funding.

If water shortage crisis is not resolved soon, Assyrians will be forced to abandon their homes and villages and move to areas where they can find water.

© 2014 Assyrian International News Agency.