Duhok and Semel districts in Duhok Governorate have a population of 732,554 inhabitants, including 121,487 internally displaced persons and refugees.
The population of Semel and Duhok Districts produces 30 tons of waste per hour, and 89% of the waste ends up in open dumps that cause air, soil and groundwater pollution. This causes severe threat for the health of the nearby residents. Solid waste is collected and transported by Artush Company contracted by the districts. The collected waste is treated in the Kwashe sorting plant, landfill and open dump.
Solid waste was a challenging issue for the Duhok government struggling with inappropriate waste management practices. When in 2020 the MASAR-VNG International team was approached by the Directorate General of Municipalities in Duhok Governorate and the Ministry of Municipality and Tourism in the Kurdistan Regional government with this challenge, the first step was to assess the solid waste management practice in both districts by Directorate General of Municipalities (DGoM) with the support of MASAR Program. MASAR’s main recommendation was to start changing the waste collection scheme from mixed waste collection to segregating waste collection into two bins, organic and non-organic. This helped:
• To improve solid waste management in Duhok Governorate
• To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the waste sorting in the Kwashe treatment plant
In order to set up segregated waste collection awareness sessions were held to convince the population to separate their organic and non-organic waste. Also, the concept of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ was promoted in the communities was promoted.
All this has led to a more sustainable form of solid waste management in Duhok Governorate.
The population is now aware of waste segregation, being given an extra bin. They are also aware of the recycling and reuse potential of waste, helping to reduce the waste load and improve the environmental conditions in the two districts.