World Vision recently inaugurated one of the six boreholes drilled in the Erbil Governorate where water supply is critical. Erbil’s Water Directorate official Engineer, Aveen Tahseen, said the facilities are crucial to help 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,” said Tahseen during the ceremony held in the Darato sub-district.
Erbil City’s population has doubled in the recent year, with an estimated 260,000 displaced people (IDPs) coming from different parts of conflict-torn northern Iraq. The increased population has put a huge weight on the city’s basic services, especially the water supply.
“This is a very strategic response to an urgent need with the goal of boosting the water supply... We expect the project to help not just the displaced but also the host communities,” Hani Chatila.
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 improved considerably when the borehole started operating in Darato. “We had 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 were restricted to collecting water for only two days within each 15-day period because it was scarce. “We do not have it for [the full] 24-hours, but at least we have the [water] supply daily,” said Abuzaid.
“This is important as the government needs all the support it can get as the displacement worsens,” Bashar Ali.
Drilling Consultant Engineer, Bashar Ali, concurred that the government needs all the support it can get to deal with the IDP crisis and that one of the most significant needs is water supply. “This is important as the government needs all the support it can get as the displacement worsens,” Ali added. He expressed concern that the crisis could still escalate and increase the influx of more IDPs to be more than the city can handle.
Erbil’s Water Directorate provided full technical support to the borehole project and provided the areas for the facilities. Chatila has commended the competence and cooperation of the directorate office which made the work efficient and fast. “World Vision was provided all the support we needed [making] completion much easier for us,” Chatila added.
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 will benefit over 40,000 people inside the camp and also the host communities in Khanke, Duhok Governorate.