$3m water project to ease river dryness in Khanaqin launched01/06/2012 10:36
GARMIYAN, June 1 (AKnews)- Kurdistan Ministry of Agriculture launched a water project yesterday which is due to help overcome the dryness of Alvand River in the territorially disputed Khanaqin city and its surrounding areas.
The 3.8 km project which conducts the water from Balajo to the dried out Alvand River is worth of 3.5b IQD (approx. $3,002,487), Minister Sirwan Bababn told a press conference.
The project crosses over Sirwan River.
As Iran changed the course of Alvand in the past few years, Khanaqin and its surrounding areas suffered from drought and the underground water level in the area lowered, said Hidayat Jawhar, a member of Garmiyan Farmers Union.
The projects aims at conducting water to 1,400 acres of orchard and farmland, said Taher Mohammed, Khanaqin irrigation director.
Khanaqin Firefighting Station figures suggest that in the past two years due to lack of irrigation water and dryness of Alvand River more than 50 orchards were burnt down to change the agricultural lands to residential plots.
The dryness of the Alvand River which flows in from Iran led to some protest demonstrations.
Activists who claim Iran is building bridges over the river within its own territories once closed the Parvizkhan border gate and staged various campaigns to press the authorities solve the issue with Iranian officials.
The efforts, however, led to no avail.
By Bryar Mohammed