The destruction that ISIS brought to Dohuk Province has hindered the development of the agricultural sector, which is now being rehabilitated
The village of Babri, in the province of Dohuk, located in the northern Kurdish-dominated regions of Iraq, was captured by ISIS militants in 2014 and much of its local population fled the terrorist group’s tyranny. Villagers from Babri have recently returned and are rehabilitating the local economy, based mainly on agricultural work.
The agricultural sector in Babri was damaged heavily by the displacement of farmers and the negligence of the terrorist group towards the local economy, in addition to the destruction of infrastructure:
“ISIS destroyed the area, it destroyed everything! [ISIS] destroyed the water networks, and the water generators, it stole and destroyed it all. Thankfully, by the will of God, and with the aid of the Peshmerga forces, things have returned to normal”, remarked Farouq Haji Babiri, a local farmer.
The damage done to the local agricultural infrastructure has been exacerbated by the long periods of drought and the water crisis that has blighted several parts of Iraq and has even been deemed a “threat to national security“.
The construction of dams in Turkey, especially the Ilisu Dam, has created water shortages that have posed challenges for the Iraqi agricultural sector. Construction of the Ilisu Dam began back in 2006, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had launched the Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP), a project aimed to ensure the sustainable development of the more impoverished areas of Turkey. This project has nevertheless caused a number of negative consequences, one of the being the reduction in the water flowing into Iraq due to the construction of 22 dams and 19 hydraulic power plants in southeastern Turkey.
Nevertheless, the return of farmers to Babri is seen as a positive development as the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis over the 2014-2017 period is continuing to be reversed. It is also proof that local economies are recovering once again.