More Sandstorms, Extreme Heat and Water Shortages Expected in Iraq and Kurdistan

Iraq is already facing an environmental disaster. According to the UN it’s the fifth most vulnerable country affected by climate change.

dohuk dam

Almost empty already in April: Dam in Dohuk, Picture: Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken

Alarm bells are ringing in Iraq: Sandstorms, water shortage and extreme heat endanger the future of the country.

The New Arab reports:

As a new dust storm hit Iraq on Monday, Iraqi and Kurdish authorities have not only failed to tackle the environmental issues but rather “were the culprits in damaging the country’s environment”, environmental experts say.

According to the United Nations, Iraq is the fifth most vulnerable country in the world affected by the climate crisis, which includes low rainfalls, repeated sandstorms, and increased desertification due to severe drought caused by dams built by neighbouring Iran and Turkey. 

The Iraqi weather commission announced on Sunday that a new sandstorm is expected to hit across the country on Monday and will last until Wednesday, Iraqi state media reported on Sunday.

At least nine major sandstorms have hit the country since April, causing schools and airports to be shut down and thousands of people hospitalised with respiratory health issues.

 Experts and officials warn that the situation is leading to a disaster in the coming years if urgent environmental plans are not initiated by the Iraqi authorities.  In April, Iraq’s environment ministry warned that Iraq could face at least 300 dusty days a year by 2050.

“Authorities in Iraq and the Kurdistan region not only failed to challenge the environmental issues but rather indifferently were the culprits of damaging the country’s environment. They have provided opportunities for the partisan companies as well as tycoons to continue with further altering the environment and making themselves rich at the cost of the country’s environment,” Sarwar Qaradaghi, head of Kurdistan Nature Non-Governmental Organization told The New Arab.

We see these developments since years and try to support various programs and projects to raise awareness, support responsible use of natural resources and improve recycle programs.

Wadi and it’s partners are working hard to enlarge and widen our Keep Kurdistan Green and Green City Halabja Campaigns, but we need your support. Please help us to make a small difference. Time is running out for Iraq and other countries in the region!