World Bank, Iraqi Ministry Evaluate Darbandikhan, Dokan Dams after Quake
A joint team from the World Bank and the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources visited the province of Sulaimani to assess the impact of the recent earthquake on Darbandikhan and Dokan Dams.
As a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck Iraq on November 12, centered 30 kilometers of Halabja in the Kurdistan Region, concerns regarding the safety and management of the dams were raised.
Both dams are strategic to the region. They were built in 1961 for flood control, irrigation, drinking water supply and later power generation was added.
World Bank said it had mobilized a technical support mission to carry out a “fact-finding assessment” of the damage that the earthquake has inflicted on the Darbandikhan and Dokan dams at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
“We highly value the partnership between the Government of Iraq and the World Bank office in Baghdad and we appreciate the Bank’s prompt response and cooperation in answering the Ministry’s request for assistance in dealing with this emergency,” the statement read, quoted Hassan Al-Janabi, Minister of Water Resources.
The World Bank said its mission is to support the water resources ministry in preparing a detailed document of the damage caused by the earthquake.
“The World Bank is working hand in hand with the government of Iraq teams at the dam locations in carrying out a deep dive assessment of the damage caused by the earthquake and putting together a rehabilitation plan to address immediate and longer term concerns,” World Bank Iraq country manager, Yara Salem said.
Earlier in the week, two teams from the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) as well as a special United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) also met in Darbandikhan to begin a structural assessment of the dam.
In that preliminary assessment, UNDAC reported there is “no imminent threat” of flooding for the population living downstream though recommendations for dam rehabilitation were made.