Report June #1 23 En

شبكة رصد

للحق في التجمع السلمي

تقرير منظمة كردستان لمراقبة حقوق الانسان حول وضع اللتظاهرات في العراق

Shouts calling on the government to solve the irrigation water crisis:

To ensure food security and sustainable management of water used in agriculture, attention to irrigation water has become one priority the government should focus on, as there is an urgent need to increase crop productivity nominally in areas where agriculture is a primary source of income for the family. Therefore, water scarcity can negatively affect agriculture in Iraq. In this report, the demonstration monitored by the monitoring team during the first half of June / 2023 in Najaf Governorate will be reviewed:

  • Najaf Governorate demonstrations 06-15-2023

Because of the scarcity of irrigation water, and at the invitation of the sheikhs of the Al-Mishkhab clans, hundreds of farmers from the clans of the city of Al-Mishkhab in Najaf came out demanding the government to provide irrigation water. This is because of irrigation water scarcity during the summer. As the lack of irrigation water negatively affects agriculture, the government has intervened to solve this crisis. The demonstrators held the Directorate of Water Resources in Najaf responsible for failing to provide irrigation water. They demanded the dismissal of the Najaf Water Resources Director, Mr. Shaker Faez. He failed to provide farmers with irrigation water.

Photo (1)

Farmers Demand Government Action for Irrigation Water Amidst Scarcity in Al-Mishkhab, Najaf

The Directorate of Water Resources showed that the reason for the water scarcity is the increased use of water by farmers in the irrigation process and their

lack of commitment to the plan and schedule set by the Directorate of Water Resources for farmers, while the permissible percentage for irrigation is 30% of the total water pumped daily. They consume 70% of it, and this affects water availability for all farmers. In response to the demonstrations, the General Directorate of Water Resources in Najaf began installing 4 new pumps

on the banks of the rivers. This was to deliver water to Al-Mishkhab. A delegation was also formed to review the Ministry of Resources to develop urgent solutions for the share of water madhhab. This was to avoid any crisis in the future.

This - one demonstrator indicated that agriculture is the only source of income for the people of the region. The scarcity of water will undoubtedly affect crops in terms of quality and quantity. As a result, farmers will be adversely affected by the lack of sufficient sources of water.

Providing irrigation water is essential for agricultural success in southern agricultural areas. The government should pay extensive attention to the health sector, as it is one of the sources of income enhancement for the citizens.

    photo (2)

sit-ins during the vigil to solve the problem of irrigation water

For security reasons, no security forces were observed in the area. No media channels were monitored to cover the event, and the media broadcast was limited to social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. The demonstration lasted for several hours, as it started peacefully by raising slogans urging the government to respond to farmers' demands. It continued peacefully until its end. If the government fails to implement its promises during this week, large demonstrations will erupt and will not cease until the government responds to their demands.



The reasons for the demonstration / the demands of the demonstrators

By reviewing the demonstration that occurred in Najaf Governorate, it becomes clear that the most prominent reasons for its launch are as follows:

  • Scarcity of water resources for agriculture.
  • Inequity in water distribution to farmers
  • The poor economic situation experienced by farmers.


Notes on security authorities' handling of gatherings:

Although Najaf is the most stable demonstration site in Iraq, it is not isolated from the other provinces of the country. Poor living conditions can push citizens to demonstrate. During the monitoring of the demonstration in the city of Al-Mishkhab in the Najaf Governorate, no security force member was observed. Over the past few months, this scene has been repeated several times. This disregard or neglect can be considered a weakness in the security forces. Because one of its first tasks is to protect citizens in all cases and circumstances. Failure to attend demonstrations and sit-ins could lead to violence or riots in Iraq.

Kurdistan Organization for Human Right Watch


Email: Reports@kohrw.org