Storm Damages Greenhouses in Suleimaniya
|September 26, 2011||Filled under Uncategorized|
Around 900 greenhouses were damaged in a storm in August in Suleimaniya. Farmers have asked Kurdistan Regional Government to give them funds to rebuild. Rizgar Mohammed Agha, head of Agriculture and Gardens in Suleimaniya, said repair costs have been estimated for a future payout for farmers.
On Aug. 23 and 28, two storms in Suleimaniya and its outskirts damaged many greenhouses. Rasul Mohammed, a Bazian farmer, said the storm damaged more than 20 of his greenhouses. We have not been compensated by KRG yet, said Mohammed.
An article in the budget draft law for this year set aside $100 million Iraqi dinars to cover natural disasters in Kurdistan. Farmers are asking for money from this fund.
Haji Aziz, whose farm was damaged, said the KRG Ministry of Agriculture has not announced the compensation yet. Aziz told The Kurdish Globe that farmers want KRG to pay for at least half of the repairs.
We have made a note of all the damaged greenhouses, said Agha. He also said the process of assessing damages means the ministry won’t reimburse the farmers until all damages have been recorded and a mechanism for payments is in place. The ministry was still finishing its assessment of the damage.
Suleimaniya province has around 4,000 composite greenhouses, of which 2,000 are in Bazian district. The Bazian district was the area most affected by the storms.
There are 866 damaged greenhouses in Suleimaniya province. They are in 62 different villages, Nawroz Ali, head of Vegetable and Greenhouses Department in the Directorate of Agriculture of Suleimaniya, told the Globe.
Ali also said 358 greenhouses in Bazian, 108 in Dukan and Piramagroon, 108 in Sharbazher, 278 in Sharazoor, 62 in Rania and Pishdar and 207 in Halabja and Saidsadiq were damaged during the storm.
Ali said two main factors played a role in the damage. First, the quality of the construction materials of the houses was low. Secondly, the storm was strong and was much worse than storms in recent years.
Ali said the greenhouses supplied by Kurdistan’s Ministry of Agriculture were not damaged during the storm. This indicates that some of the greenhouses the farmers built themselves weren’t strong enough to withstand the storm.
Agha said another factor in the extent of damage was the farmers lack of knowledge about storms. If they had a higher level of awareness, the damage would have been less, said Agha.
The farmers are now waiting for funds from KRG so they can repair their farms and grow their crops. Most are unable to continue farming until they receive money from the government to make repairs.
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