November 3, 2020
By Naba Gurung
In the Iraqi city of Sinjar, displaced families returning to their homes are already faced with public health risks associated with disease outbreaks. The situation is worsened by COVID-19.
PWRDF is contributing $30,000 to a Lutheran World Federation Iraq project that is providing hygiene equipment, improving access to clean water and raising awareness about COVID-19 prevention. The total budget is approximately $80,000 and the project will continue through December.
Since June 2020, more than 3,000 families living inside and outside camps in the Duhok governorate started returning home to Sinjar. But the area lacks security, public services and livelihood opportunities. Families are also returning to face a new unprecedented threat of the pandemic.
Families are unable to purchase key hygiene materials and have no access to clean, safe water. COVID-19 is having secondary impacts on the health of women and girls in the community. The outbreak is expected to get worse because of poor health infrastructure while the economy is struggling to cope with this situation.
The project is providing 1,500 hygiene kits to families to protect them from COVID-19. This is especially important after detecting few cases in Snoni sub-district and in Sinjar district.
The project will also ensure that families have access to potable water. Boreholes in both communities were destroyed by ISIS so the project will rehabilitate them and renovate underground water treatment facilities in Kujok village in Southern Sinjar. The project will implement appropriate chemical and biological tests at the source and at the households to make sure the water is safe.
The project will also share good health information with returnee families regarding COVID-19 in taking protective measures as per WHO guidelines and instructions.