Duhok Province is located north of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, about 470 kilometres north of Baghdad. It is on the border with Turkey. Duhok has six districts: Semel, Amedi, Akre, Bardarash, Shekhan and Duhok. These two districts have a population of around 732,554 inhabitants, including an estimated 121 487 IDPs 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. Nevertheless, it threatens the human health of the nearby residents. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is collected and transported by Artush Company on behalf of the above municipalities. However, it is treated in the Kwashe sorting plant, landfill and open dump.
The Duhok local government struggled with inappropriate waste management practices and faced many solid waste issues in the governorate of Duhok. Therefore, the MASAR for Local Governments program funded by the EU MADAD trust fund through VNG International in cooperation with the Directorate General of Municipalities (DGoM) in Duhok Governorate and the Ministry of Municipality and Tourism authorities in the Kurdistan Regional government conducted the SWM in both Duhok and Semel Districts.
The first step was a study (2020) in which its findings and recommendations were intended for the districts of Duhok and Semel, as these two districts share the Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). According to the study results, the best way to improve MSWM in Duhok Governorate 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 in which;
MSWM in Duhok Governorate was developed,
the efficiency and effectiveness of the waste sorting plant in the Kwashe treatment plant were increased,
and awareness sessions to participate in domestic waste segregation at households were conducted.
The concept of 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycling) in the communities through implementing various techniques (e.g., homemade compost) was improved.
A sustainable solution was presented to the SWM in Duhok Governorate.
At the end of the project, 85.5% of the beneficiaries from the waste segregations campaigns in the Semel district were of the host community, 7.5% were IDPs, and 6.5% were refugees. 61.6% of beneficiaries in these campaigns were males, and 38.1% were females. The people living in these areas are now aware of the waste segregation, with the 2nd bin being provided for them. They are also aware of the recycling and reuse of waste, which will help adapt and enhance habits resulting from these campaigns. MASAR focuses on local governments; therefore, the effect on the local governments and the Kwashe plant should last.
In this project, more than 216 748 inhabitants of Semel District and 121 487 IDPs and Refugees benefited from the project. This helps reduce the waste load, which it reduces while making it a friendly environment.