Kirkuk’s Garbage Problem

November 13, 2011 at 11:30 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Kirkuk’s Garbage Problem

12/11/2011 03:02:00 By AKO MUHAMMAD SHWANI
School children walking home in Shorija, Kirkuk. Photo

KIRKUK, Iraq — Garbage has piled up in front of Ali’s shop in the Shorija neighborhood of Kirkuk.

Ali, a butcher, blames the municipality garbage collectors, saying, “We are unable to sleep because of the stench. The front of our shops and houses are filled with garbage,”

Despite numerous cleaning campaigns in the city in the past several years, garbage piles and rubble still litter the city of Kirkuk.

Shorija is one of the oldest and ethnically-mixed quarters of Kirkuk.

Ali Qadir, a resident of Shorija told Rudaw, “The municipality trucks collect garbage only once a week and this is not enough. Our children get sick because everywhere they go is filled with garbage.”

Municipality officials say the residents of the city are not acting responsibly to keep their city clean.

Nawzad Abdullah, director of the department of the environment in Kirkuk, admitted that the municipality cannot catch up on cleaning the already accumulated garbage.

Abdullah said the city is planning to contract private companies for the task.

Karwan Muhammad, a journalist in Kirkuk, said that some city garbage collectors refuse to pick up garbage unless they are paid by the local residents.

“No one thinks of this place as home,” said Muhammad.

Abdullah admitted that taking money from local households has been a problem among municipality workers.

“We have fired many of them because of this,” he said. “Any worker who does this will be fired,”

Jiyan Ali, a resident of Panja Ali quarter, said the problem of garbage has made her consider leaving the city altogether.

“There is no life in Kirkuk,” she said. “Everywhere you go is filled with garbage. Our children have no place to play. All the playgrounds have turned into garbage dumps. If things continue this way, we will leave the city.”

Most of Kirkuk’s garbage is dumped near the highway that connects Kirkuk to Sulaimani city. Municipality workers often dispose of the garbage by way of burning and this has caused great concern for the passing traffic.

“I cannot understand the idea of dumping city garbage near the city’s most important highway,” said Ihsan Abdullah, a driver that is on the road on a daily basis.

Abdulrahamn Mustafa, former Kirkuk governor told Rudaw that 12 private companies have submitted tenders for cleaning contracts.

“We have currently paid 12 billion Iraqi Dinars to one company to clean the city of Kirkuk, but this is only for one time and we are seeking to contract a company to constantly clean the city,” said Mustafa.



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