This project explores the possible impact of the building of Makhoul Dam on communities in the provinces of Salahadeen and Kirkuk.
A communities - first approach has been employed to understand how Makhoul Dam will affect local society, including livelihoods, agriculture, infrastructure and heritage, amongst other key indicators. The project seeks to communicate those voices from villages in the Makhoul Dam Basin, which covers parts of Salahadeen and Kirkuk, to key stakeholders and decision-makers.
The project primarily covers the social and cultural impact of Makhoul Dam, looking also at livelihoods and economic factors pertinent to the areas under study. A multi-sectoral analysis is currently being conducted based on survey and interview data conducted on the ground in 40 villages.
The area was recently under DAESH occupation and the scars of wars and their legacies are raw and visible throughout the region. The region suffered from great levels of insecurity and displacment. Makhoul Dam may create significant levels of displacement in the near future.
Makhoul Dam will transform the economic infrastructure of Salahadeen and Kirkuk, both provinces that will in part be flooded. Our approach has been to assess the damage that the project will create on livelihoods and income generation in the basin and nearby areas as well as the economic opportunities it might produce.
No comprehensive study has been undertaken to explore the impact of Makhoul Dam on the region's heritage and archaeology. Home to major archaeological sites, including Ashur - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the area has significant potential to be a major tourism hub in Iraq and beyond. Understanding the outcomes of Makhoul Dam on the areas archaeology is urgently requried.
As a farming area, which is watered by the River Tigris, the Makhoul Dam area is an environmentally diverse region of Iraq. The impact on the environment of the creation of a reservoir has not yet been studied or explored.
Until just recently, the Makhoul Dam region was affected by heavy conflict which destroyed a large section of its infrastructure and uprooted hundreds of thousands of people in the area. The impact of Makhoul Dam will similarly impact social life and the relationships people have forged with eachother.
Extended families, most living within the same or adjoining households characterise the region. The impact on families and households as a result of displacement and the instability that Makhoul Dam could create will have a lasting impact on the region and its people.
Hamad Farhan from Sbeih Tahtani in Al-Zab in Kirkuk explains how Makhoul Dam may lead to communities being relocated and provided with unsuitable housing. He stressed that any future government compensation should take into account their current housing arrangements and needs.
Oum Laith from Al-Zab in Kirkuk explains the adverse outcomes of Makhoul Dam on everyday life in the region and stressed those concerns to Liwan's Community Liaison Team. She goes on to stress the dam's possible impact on the local economy and farming communities.
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