The project plans to complete four community roundtables to discuss the impact of Makhoul Dam and to listen and record those voices from potentially affected areas. These public forums are designed to act as a way for communities to channel their concerns, and frustrations, in a manner which could be recorded and amplified to key stakeholders. The first community event was organised in al Zab, in Kirkuk, on 9th September 2021 on the topic of archaeology and heritage in the region.
The project has completed mapping 39 of 40 villages in the Makhoul Dam basin region. To date, over 500 interviews have been conducted in the Makhoul Dam basin region. Both genders have been covered and different stratas of society in both Salahadeen and Kirkuk have been spoken with by researchers. Communities have been keen to participate in data collection and consultations with a view to conveying their voices to decison-makers.
The future security of the region being covered will depend on the capacity to generate sustainable livelihoods, especially as government incomes and farming cover the majority of gross domestic product. The project's researchers have covered this aspect of data collection to better understand the infratructure of the region, with a view to ensuring that livelihoods are adequately protected.
The project seeks to utilise Iraqi expertise in better understanding the impact of Makhoul Dam in the fields of archaeology, geography, income-generation, and other key sectors. On 9th September 2021, a one-day conference at the University of Tikrit was organised to this effect which saw the participation of academics from the affected areas. Further expert input is being carried out by a combination of different experts.
Key stakeholders concerning the Makhoul Dam, including central state agencies and Ministries, are currently being communicated with a view to compiling an assessment of the impact of Makhol Dam. Final outputs will be delivered to those key stakeholders with a view to ensuring adverse effects of the dam are kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. A final report on the social impact of Makhoul Dam will be released towards the end of the project phase, in late 2021.
Key sectors are explored including the impact of the dam on geography and environment in the region. To date, no such impact assessment has been prepared. Significantly, the Makhoul Dam basin region contains no less than 183 major archaeological sites, including Ashur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to some assessments, parts of Ashur will be flooded once the dam is completed. The project attempts to raise awareness of the possible impact on heritage in the region as it possibly an important source of future income-generation through such things as tourism.
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