Iraqi farms burn, heavy losses borne by citizens

Iraqi farms burn, heavy losses borne by citizens

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Shatha Khalil *
This year, Iraq is achieving the highest rate of cultivation of agricultural crops (wheat and barley) for tens of years, with 13 million dunums, 6 million dunums of which are in Nineveh (almost half), but fires of hatred, sedition and evil eat up what the Iraqis cultivate, where areas in Iraqi provinces are exposed to the fires that burned parts of the agricultural fields especially in Diyala, Nineveh and Saladin.
The greatest calamity here is that the farms were exposed to successive fires. The security measures of a civil defense and precautionary plans were not sufficient to protect, preserve and secure them.
In Nineveh province, there are only 53 firefighting vehicles, while 600 cars are needed, according to the rate needed by the cultivated area which is of 6 million dunums (about half the cultivated area in Iraq) .. horrible figures ….
According to the Directorate of Civil Defense in Nineveh says , according to international laws every million dunums needs 100 fire –fighting vehicles to cover the rate of fires expected each season, that means Nineveh province needs at least 600 fire engines to control fires.
Unfortunately, the Civil Defense Directorate has only 53 firefighting vehicles operating now (20 of which came from southern provinces for assistance).
What’s more, there are 80 cars out of service at the Civil Defense Directorate in Nineveh, 30 of which can be fixed for a total of only $ 200,000.
While the government needs 320 thousand dollars to import only one new car, more expensive than the price of repair and rehabilitation of 30 cars in the Directorate today.
Poor planning and management ” Crisis management ” is a serious indicator if this neglect continues by the local and central governments with the support the government departments, weakening the role of the state in controlling and organizing and thus destroying security and the economy that leads inevitably to the chaos.
An official at the Civil Defense Directorate adds: As fires continue at such a high rate almost every day, another car comes out of service.
Where the Directorate of Civil Defense announced the extinguishment of four fires for the wheat crop in the province of Nineveh, during the past 24 hours.

The Directorate said in a statement that the fires of plantations, wheat fields and herb fires that were extinguished by the men of Nineveh province are extinguishing a fire for the wheat crop in Sinjar by the men of the Talafar civil defense center and the supporting detachments . The fire broke out in wheat crops in al-Shababait village and was distinguished by civil defense center of Ras Al-Jaddah, and a fire for wheat was put out in Al-Hamdaniya district by Hamdaniyah Civil Defense Center.
A fire in wheat crops in Makhmour district was extinguished by members of the Makhmour Civil Defense Center and supporting detachments, the statement said

The High Commission for Human Rights (HCHR) has called on the Iraqi government represented by the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Governor of Nineveh to redress matters and control the huge fires that consume thousands of dunums in the districts of Sinjar and Al-baaj quickly the speed noting that there are no fire engines enough to put out the fires.

To save and protect the fields and crops of Nineveh province , it is required to make urgent efforts to move fire engines from the center of the province and other provinces to control the fire and protect the wealth of Iraq and its people and those who eagerly waiting it for five years and protect the homes of citizens and vital installations in agricultural lands such as water and electricity projects and others.

The continuity of these dangerous fires threatens Iraq’s food security, the livelihoods of farmers, peasants , their families, their interests, their livelihoods, and even their homes.

This statistic for the burned area in all governorates from 8/5/2019 until 4/6/2019.
Baghdad, Karkh and Rusafa 50 dunums, Babel 85 dunums, Maysan 49 dunums, Wasit 227 dunums, Diwaniyah 5 dunums, Diyala 379 dunums, Muthanna 27 dunums, Salah al-Din 49.7 dunums. Kirkuk 3719 dunums.
Nineveh 11183 dunums , and Anbar was 99 dunums. The total number of affected governorates was 20730 dunums, heavy losses borne by the Iraqis,
The Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that the causes of the fire are multiple, some of which were carried out by mobile phones programmed with lightning programs and when connected to it, it burns the land to be burned, pointing out that “the investigations of the causes of the fire did not indicate the existence of magnifying glasses reflective of the sun and there are occasional causes, whether electric contact or dispute or revenge, and there are farmers who burn the soil to prepare it for agriculture.
After the exposure of areas in the Iraqi provinces to the fire burned parts of its agricultural fields, especially in Diyala, Nineveh and Salahuddin, the government statements are varied and the result is one, a serious terrorist act of the agricultural sector threatening the lives and security of Iraqis.

Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies