The expansion of Makhoul Dam, which commenced in January 2021, will come to completion within five years and reshape the cultural landscape and geography of Sherqat, al Zab and surrounding areas. Makhoul Dam will affect both Kirkuk and Salahadeen provinces in Iraq.
The expansion of the dam, undertaken by the Ministry of Water Resources, is projected to affect directly over 183 archaeological sites, including Ashur and displace thousands of families. Some significant cultural sites will disappear altogether and parts of Ashur will also be flooded (Marchetti el al, 2019).
Whilst the expansion of the dam has started, there has been no real consultation with the people of the Makhoul Dam region, leaving many questions unanswered about the future of the area, its cultural sites and how the expansion will affect livelihoods, not least farming and the region’s tourism potential.
To date, there has been no social study of the impact of the dam, producing amongst communities in areas such as al Zab, Sherqat and many other places a sense of frustration about the future of the area.
Their voices, at this critical moment in time of change and possible transformation of the entire area, have neither been listened to nor documented. It has not been collected, organised and conveyed to decision-makers. This project addresses this deficiency and works with communities to document and convey in a professional manner those voices and concerns to key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Migration and Displacement and the Ministry of Water Resources.
The project will act as an important and strategic intervention at a time when no one is actually working with or thinking about the concerns of local communities in the area.
Copyright © 2021 Liwan - All Rights Reserved.