Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has registered several successes in dealing with internal and external crises since he took office in the summer of 2014, making him one of the most difficult figures in the Iraqi, regional and international political equation, especially as an acceptable leading figure in Iraq and abroad characterized by its flexibility in the management and policy and this has emerged in the policy of war against the ISIS and liberation of most areas of Iraq, and the management of internal and regional crises.
His wise leadership also emerged in dealing with the aftermath of the violent earthquake of 12-11-2017 that hit large parts of Iraq , Iraqi Kurdistan and western Iran, causing the collapse of buildings and material and human damage, including the Derbandakhan dam.
Following the earthquake, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi presided over an emergency meeting of the Supreme National Water Committee on November 13, 2017. He directed the committee to monitor the Derbandakhan dam and take further measures to prevent water abuses in the provinces.
The Iraqi government announced the allocation of 3 billion dinars to repair the dam Darbandakhan urgently during the meeting of the Council of Ministers recently held to assess and inspect the dam from the engineering aspect and address the damage suffered, as well as the task of foreign companies specialized in identifying and addressing the defect that hit the dam.
The government confirmed the arrival of a UN team to Iraq to look into the problems and damage to the dam and to report to the government.
Prime Minister Haid al-Abadi ordered the Supreme National Committee for Water to monitor the Darbandakhan dam. Following the directives of Abadi , it was formed a committee headed by the head of the operations room of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers Mohammad Taher al-Tamimi, Major General Mohammad Fadel Abbas of the National Operations Center, and director of disaster management in the Iraqi Red Crescent Ahmed Abdel Amir. The committee said it was following the conditions of the dam on the ground under the guidance of Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi for the purpose of expeditious processing of cases requiring emergency relief and assessing the extent of the serious damage to the homes of citizens and government institutions and all the affected areas in the district of Darbandikhan as a result of the earthquake that hit the district killing seven people and injuring more than 100 and causing physical damage to government facilities and citizens’ homes.
The committee explained that it will study, on the instructions of Abadi, reports on the size of the damage that hit the city to be submitted to the Council of Ministers to take the necessary measures, which will include the assignment of departments concerned to address the damage suffered by the city and allocate the necessary funds for it.
The committee pointed out that since the first moment of the earthquake, the government has worked in coordination with the local government to provide all emergency relief assistance and provide tents for families who have been displaced by the earthquake in cooperation with the Iraqi Red Crescent Society to provide what is required for them. .
The committee pointed out that the dams are safe and there is no danger to them, stressing the continued monitoring of the Darbandakhan dam to ensure the safety of its basic buildings, ensuring the establishment of water reservoirs and water policy for the next stage, discussing the irrigation strategy of the agricultural plan and water violations and taking further measures to stop them because of its negative impact on water quotas for the rest of the provinces.
Darbandakhan Dam: Located in the southeast of Sulaymaniyah Governorate, it was established in the mid-fifties of the last century by American, German, British and French companies. It was inaugurated on November 23, 1961 by President Abdul Karim Kassem. The purpose of its construction was to control Flood waters in fear of the threat of Baghdad, and Diyala drowning by heavy rain in the winter, in addition to the benefit of water for irrigation, electricity generation and fish farming, and aims to provide water reservoirs to irrigate large areas in areas attractive to the population and tourism.
The dam forms a lake known as the Darbandakhan Lake. The dam is about 128 meters high, 445 meters long and the maximum width is about 17 meters. The capacity of the Durbandikhan dam is three billion cubic meters of water. Its plants produce 250 MW of electricity.
The Sirwan River, which flows from Iranian territory, is a major source of water supply to the Durbandakhan dam, accounting for 70% of its water imports. In recent years, however, dams have been built on the main branches inside Iran, negatively affecting the amount of water imports that feed the lake. Due to the waste of factories and the waste of the municipality of Sulaymaniyah, the districts and the areas on the Tangro River, which affected the quality of the lake water especially during the dry season where the water quantity decreased, leading to a higher concentration of salinity and increased pollution elements which negatively affected the potable water and agricultural irrigation.
The water of the Darbandakhan lake provides drinking water to the areas extending from the dam to southern Baghdad by 30 km.
The violent earthquake that hit large areas of Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan and western Iran on 12-11-2017 led to the collapse of buildings and the occurrence of material and human damage, and landslides led to the closure of the main roads in the region, and the dam of Darbandikhan was one of the worst affected areas.
In a related context, the director of the Department of Meteorology and Seismology Fadel Ibrahim in the Kurdistan Region that “the earthquake was the strongest ever in the Kurdistan Region,” noting that “after the occurrence of any violent earthquake, another earthquake occurs in the region until the ground stabilizes, but this did not happen and it was limited to aftershocks, “It is expected to last for a month.”
The Minister of Agriculture of the Kurdistan region Abdul Sattar Majid calls citizens to move away from the dam of Derbendkhan, attributed the reason for being damaged by the earthquake.
Majid added “The Darbandakhan Dam has been damaged by the earthquake and the relevant teams are still studying the damage,” .
Minister of Resources Hassan al-Janabi said that the earthquake had caused the landslides of the nearby mountain of Derbandikhan and the collapse of some neighboring homes and the collapse of stones in the waterwave of the dam due to the earthquake that hit the whole country, noting that the Dam of Hamrin is in good condition. .
The lake suffers from a shortage of water reserves because of the lack of rainfall and dams built by Iran on the Sirwan River, which has lost some of the reservoir, especially that the area of eighteen thousand square kilometers which is the area of the water surface, which is formed by Lake Darbandakhan in the case of full dam.
The provincial government said it had notified the federal government to discuss with Iran the danger of continuing to reduce Iraq’s share of water from Iran to the lake and ensure Iraq’s share of the water approved by the Algiers agreement between the two countries but it seems Iran is not interested in our demands and waging a water war and the most dangerous thing is to build a submersible dam and diverting the excess water of the Sirwan River from its borders into its territory through a 47-kilometer tunnel, warning of a humanitarian and environmental disaster facing Baghdad.
The parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Water disclosed about the decline in imports of water coming from the dam of Derbendkhan towards Diyala province by 50%, which adversely affected the agricultural plan for the current season.
The head of the committee, MP Furat al-Tamimi, said that “the decline of Derbandikhan water imports has clearly affected the agricultural plan in Diyala in general and pushed to reduce it at a very high rate, which will negatively affect the situation of thousands of farmers.” He called on the Ministry of Water Resources to take into account the conditions of the province and increase water releases with the start of the agricultural season. ”
The agricultural plan for the current season in Diyala has fallen by more than 50% due to limited irrigation water needed for the agricultural plan.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies