Iraq water shortages raise ethnic tensions

January 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment

Iraq water shortages raise ethnic tensions

By Marwan Ibrahim

KIRKUK, Jan 29, 2011 (AFP)A worsening water shortage in Iraq is raising tensions in the multi-ethnic Kirkuk province, where Arab farmers accuse the Kurdistan region of ruining them by closing the valves to a dam in winter.

“We are harmed by the Kurds, and the officials responsible for Baghdad and Kirkuk will not lift a finger,” said Sheikh Khaled al-Mafraji, a leader of the Arab Political Council that groups mainly Sunni tribal leaders.

At the heart of the conflict is the Dukan dam, built in 1955 in Iraq’s northern autonomous region of Kurdistan, 75 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Kirkuk province.

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New dam for Iraq’s oil-rich Kerkuk

November 7, 2009 at 9:22 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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New dam for Iraq’s oil-rich Kerkuk

 Azzaman, November 6, 2009

 The oil-rich city of Kirkuk is going to have a new dam with a storage capacity of 39 million cubic meters of water.

 Work on the dam has just started. It was inaugurated this week by Water Resources Minister Abdullatif Rasheed.

 “The target is to regulate the flow of water in the Khassa River, a tributary of al-Khalis,” the minister said.

 Kirkuk, though an agricultural province, is known more for its massive oil reserves which many believe are one of the causes for current ethnic and sectarian tensions in Iraq.

Iraq’s three largest ethnic groups, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, are at loggerheads over the fate of the city and whether it should be administered by the central government in Baghdad or the regional Kurdish government in Arbil.

 Despite its huge oil riches, the city suffers from lack of clean water, mainly due to the scarcity of its water resources.

 The minister said he hoped the new dam will store enough water to meet the city’s needs.

 The dam is being built 10 kilometers north-east of the city. It is 1,160 meters long and 58 meters high.

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