Trash piles up in Sulaimani province causing concern among herders

Piles of garbage have accumulated on the streets of Sulaimani province’s Sitak, ruining the area’s beautiful nature and causing concern among local herders and residents.

The herders are worried their livestock would ingest the trash and plastic bags and become infected.

"All our animals have started eating plastic bags due to the trash piling up. We have cows that have died, and we sliced off their belly and found there were a lot of plastic bags inside,” Bahadin Bakir, Kani Waisa village council member in Sitak, told Rudaw’s Nizar Jaza on Tuesday.

The concerns are not only among those who live in Sitak, as Meragapan residents face the same issue.

Both Sitak and Mergapan are two prominent tourist areas in Sulaimani, and trash piling up has defaced the scenery of the area.

"Cleaning companies are still working and cleaning, but they cannot keep up. What remains is an important duty on the shoulders of the residents to throw garbage in the designated places. But unfortunately, most people throw garbage onto the sidewalk from the windshield of their cars,” said Taha Haji Rahim, a Sitak resident.

Three companies have been hired to collect trash and clean outside of Sulaimani city. The companies have gone on strike repeatedly in recent over delay in receiving salaries, after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stopped providing monthly financial assistance in 2021.

"We have problems with the cleaning companies, and they have their own reasons because their financial entitlements are late and they do not have money. A lot of garbage accumulates at times, as the companies are understaffed or their equipments are not functioning and they do not have the money to repair it, but that is not an excuse for us and we penalize the companies,” Awat Aziz, media head of Sulaimani municipalities, told Rudaw.

The cleaning companies previously received monthly financial assistance from the KRG, but in the spring of 2021 the KRG implemented austerity measures on the financial assistance with aims to reduce government spending at a time of a financial crisis caused by disagreements with Baghdad over the region’s share of the federal budget.

source\ rudaw


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