الرئيسية » English Articles » Iraq: Mosul Dam in Danger of Deadly Collapse

Iraq: Mosul Dam in Danger of Deadly Collapse

The Iraqi government has dismissed a warning that a possible catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam, Iraq’s largest dam, can lead to at least 500,000 civilian deaths.

Defend International
in collaboration with
Envirozan
(Environmental Experts Network – Tigris & Euphrates Region)

Number and Region: Hundreds of thousand in Mosul city
Sex: Male & Female
Authorities: Iraqi
Category: Environmental issues / Concern for civilian safety / ESC Rights

The case:
Mosul dam, the largest dam in Iraq, is in serious danger of an imminent risk of collapse that could unleash a 20 m (65 ft) wave of water, which would result in significant loss of life and property and flooding two of largest cities in the country.

Mosul dam holds back upwards of 12 billion cubic meters of water for the western Ninewah Province while creating hydroelectric power for the 1.7 million residents of Mosul. Completed in 1983, the dam has required maintenance to plug areas of leakage on a regular basis.
A catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam would be profound, devastating the rich agricultural valley of the Tigris, endangering the population of Mosul and result in flooding along the Tigris River all the way to Baghdad.

The warning has been published in a report by the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), which said that the dam’s foundations could give away at any moment. SIGIR found that a $27million US-funded reconstruction project, recently begun to help shore up the dam, had made little or no progress. It said the “short-term solutions” had been plagued by mismanagement and potential fraud.

The Iraqi Ministry of Water and Resources is not ready to find a solution for this urgent problem.


Facts
Mosul Dam is Middle East’s fourth largest dam in reservoir capacity and Iraq’s largest;
Key component in Iraq’s national power grid, with four 200 megawatt (MW) turbines generating;
Mosul Dam is built on water-soluble gypsum, which causes seepage;
Subsequent erosion creates cavities beneath dam that must be plugged or “grouted” on a regular basis or dam will fail, say experts;
Seismic equipment provides information to monitor dam’s stability.

Since 2005
US-funded reconstruction project – costing $27million – to help shore up the dam has made “little or no progress” to significantly improve basic grouting capability of the Iraqi Ministry of Water and Resources at the dam, according to the SIGIR. The dam reconstruction project included an upgrade of specialized maintenance equipment, seismic monitors, materials and spare parts.


Our Demands:

Defend International (DI), on the basis of information received from Envirozan, expresses its concern for the lives of civilians, as long as government policy concerning this infrastructure project disregards its impact on the economic, social and cultural rights of the communities affected.

Economic, social and cultural rights
* The communities in the province should receive warning that the dam is in serious danger of an imminent collapse;
* The next steps should be planned and implemented with effective involvement of the affected population;
* The Iraqi authorities should urgently work to improve the dam’s safety;
* One of the urgent first steps is lower water levels to decrease pressure on the dam and reduce the likelihood that water levels could raise to the point where the stability of the dam would be threatened;
* Pumping cement into the gaps must be the priority and the development of a warning and evacuation system is necessary.

DI campaign:
Please copy the following appeals, add your signature and address and send them to arrive as soon as possible.
With thanks and appreciation
Defend International
www.defendinternational.org
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Embassy of Republic of Iraq – Norway
E-mail: oslemb@iraqmofamail.net
Subject: Please forward to His Excellency Jalal Talabani – The President of Iraq



Your Excellency,

Herby I am expressing my concern to learn that Mosul dam is in danger of deadly collapse. I call on you to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of civilians in Mosul province.

I seek urgent assurances to convene an ad hoc committee of experts to conduct an independent assessment of the current dam safety, and to publish the results of these assessments.
Hence I additionally urge you to fully respect the human rights of civilians in Mosul province.

I call on you to ensure adequate and real representation of and participation by local communities in the possible solutions, in particular, to provide appropriate fora in which community views can be expressed and taken into account.

Furthermore I urge you to address the concerns expressed by experts and ensure that the dam present no threat to the enjoyment of community members’ economic, social and cultural rights, including the right enshrined in article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to an adequate standard of living, and to the improvement of living conditions.

I hope for your urgent attention to this matter.

Respectfully yours,


—–

Republic of Iraq
His Excellency Nuri Kamil al-Maliki – Prime Minister of Iraq
E-mail: info@iraqigovernment.org



Your Excellency,

Herby I am expressing my concern to learn that Mosul dam is in danger of deadly collapse. I call on you to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of civilians in Mosul province.

I seek urgent assurances to convene an ad hoc committee of experts to conduct and independent assessment of the current dam safety, and to publish the results of these assessments.
Hence I additionally urge you to fully respect the human rights of civilians in Mosul province.

I call on you to ensure adequate and real representation of and participation by local communities in the possible solutions, in particular, to provide appropriate fora in which community views can be expressed and taken into account.

Furthermore I urge you to address the concerns expressed by experts and ensure that the dam present no threat to the enjoyment of community members’ economic, social and cultural rights, including the right enshrined in article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to an adequate standard of living, and to the improvement of living conditions.

I hope for your urgent attention to this matter.

Respectfully yours,


—-

The Iraqi Minister of Water Resources
His Excellency Dr. Abdul Latif Rashid
Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources
Palest St,
Baghdad,IRAQ
Fax : 0096417740672
E-mail: waterresmin@yahoo.co.uk



Your Excellency,

Herby I am expressing my concern to learn that Mosul dam is in danger of deadly collapse. I call on you to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of civilians in Mosul province.

I seek urgent assurances to convene an ad hoc committee of experts to conduct and independent assessment of the current dam safety, and to publish the results of these assessments.
Hence I additionally urge you to fully respect the human rights of civilians in Mosul province.

I call on you to ensure adequate and real representation of and participation by local communities in the possible solutions, in particular, to provide appropriate fora in which community views can be expressed and taken into account.

Furthermore I urge you to address the concerns expressed by experts and ensure that the dam present no threat to the enjoyment of community members’ economic, social and cultural rights, including the right enshrined in article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to an adequate standard of living, and to the improvement of living conditions.

I hope for your urgent attention to this matter.

Respectfully yours,