KRG departments and institutions resume work in Makhmour
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq (KRG.org) – Most of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s departments and institutions in the Makhmour district have resumed work after Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces liberated the area from terrorist militants.
The Mayor of Makhmour, Ibrahim Sheikh-Allah, told KRG.org, “The situation has returned to normal in the area and government institutions have resumed their daily work, except the Department of Civil Affairs, which is scheduled to resume its activities in the next few days and begin assisting residents with any paperwork that they need completed.”
He added, “Makhmour has seen the return of its residents, Kurds and Arabs, to their homes. Although a small number of Arabs from Makhmour assisted the terrorists directly or indirectly, the majority of Arabs fled with Kurds to other parts of Kurdistan.”
On another topic, the Mayor of Makhmour said, “In coordination with the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration, a committee was formed in order to financially compensate families that were displaced from their homes.”
He pointed out that “despite the fact that Iraq’s federal government has withheld the KRG’s entire budget, two different committees have been formed, financial and legal, to register all the damage from which the residents of the area suffer. In addition, we have invited the people of Makhmour who have suffered property damage and loss to contact the two newly established committees in Makhmour and present their requests. The committees will receive all requests from the citizens and study them in order to provide compensation in the future.”
The Barzani Charity Foundation and a group of Kurdish businessmen in the area have also helped the people and the Peshmerga forces. They have provided the Peshmerga forces with food twice a day. The Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration has in the past few days provided some food rations to those in need.
Problems and efforts to address them
Regarding the problems of the area, the Mayor of Makhmour said, “With the beginning of the crisis, two major problems have emerged: reduced amounts of drinking water and electricity. In order to address water shortages, the municipality and governorate of Erbil are drawing up plans that include digging wells and utilising water from the water network in order to replace that which had flown from Sultan Abdullah and Qaraj to Makhmour. This has resolved the water issue to some degree.”
The electricity problem emerged as the consequence of damage to electrical infrastructure caused by the fighting. This caused the outage of large sections of the electricity network, and all the employees in the electricity department, Kurd and Arab, fled during the crisis. Some of the Arab employees in the electricity department have not returned to work and some of the Kurdish employees are facing transportation problems and have not all fully returned to their homes. This has made it difficult for them to attend work everyday. Despite all this, newly created teams designated to tackle the electricity issue have resolved the problem to some extent.
Regarding the health sector, Mayor Sheikh-Allah said, “The team in charge of health in Makhmour is composed of two groups. One belongs to Mosul, and due to the events that took place, all those employees left without returning. The other group is from Erbil, and during the fighting they were assisting and have now continued their work. Makhmour's health sector has not suffered significantly.”
Talking about the damage that affected government departments and institutions in these areas, the Mayor said, “The militants destroyed and broke the doors and windows of government buildings, as well as stealing collectables and sums of money from the Departments of Real Estate Registration and Municipalities as well as four fire engines and also some fuel.”
As for the Makhmour silo, which is considered one of the main storage centres for grain products belonging to farmers, the Mayor said, “Parts of its administrative section were damaged, but it was far from the grain. I would like to assure farmers, especially those who delivered their crops to the Kurdistan Regional Government, that we and the Iraqi Federal Ministry of Trade are in the process of undertaking all the steps needed to ensure payment for the grain bought from them.”
Regarding the problem of petrol in the area, the Mayor said that there are two petrol distribution stations in the area which provide residents with fuel, and the government petrol station will be reopened in Makhmour soon and will begin distributing petrol to citizens.
The Makhmour district includes the sub-districts of Gweir, Kandinawa and Qaraj. According to the Iraqi ID card and Food Rations card lists, they have a population of 200,000 people. Approxmiately 75 percent of the people in Makhmour are Kurds. The Peshmerga forces have been able to liberate almost 95 percent of the area they had controlled before the arrival of the militants, and are progressing daily to liberate more areas seized by the terrorists.