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Black Smoke Threatens the People in Kurdish area

Black Smoke Threatens the People in Kurdish area
The scene of the smoke rising from Turka's gas well

Peregraf- Haval Zangana 

Intense black smoke billows out around a small area of the village of Turka and reaches the skies of the Kurdistan Region's town of Chamchamal, spread by a breeze. The people of the city believe that the smoke originates from the burning of tyres. However, it is something far more dangerous.

It has been more than three weeks since the first appearance of the smoke. According to some footages obtained by Peregraf, even at night time one can easily notice the presence of the smoke in the sky above Chamchamal.

The city of Chamchamal, located about 60 km to the west of Suleimanya Governorate, is rich in a massive reserve of natural resources, especially gas.

The source of the smoke is a gas well in the village of Turka, located about 3km to the North West of Chamchamal. Therefore, the smoke spread quickly towards the city and to the town of Sangaw.

Work is being undertaken at the well number three in the Turka field according to an agreement between the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) and Dana Gas Company with the aim to promote the production of natural gas.  

Karwan Ramazan, from Turka village, whose family still lives under the threat of the black smoke told Peregraf "I visit the village on a daily basis and I see how the smoke has affected not only the village but also the whole of Chamchamal area."

"It is not an incessant smoke. Sometimes it stops for some days. It can especially be felt at dawn. The residents of the village and the whole area can smell the burning of tyres which makes it difficult for breathing, especially for the nearby villages."

The well has reached to the gas however the work is still ongoing. The executive company is burning the gas to prevent it from spreading into the environment.

Hazhar Hoshyar, a resident in the center of the city of Chamchamal, is displeased with the ignorance of the smoke's danger, believing it might cause an increase in the rate of cancer for the people of the city.    

"It is okay to have a natural gas field in the city and the smoke can be taken away by two ways, either by putting a filter or by transferring the gas through a pipeline and burning somewhere far from inhabitants." 

Hazhar and some other residents of Chamchamal have decided to take the complaint to the Mayor of the city.

Most of Chamchamal’s natural gas production is from the Khor Mor field and recently the Turka field has been transferring through pipelines to Erbil and Chamchamal electricity stations.

Peshawa Shekh Rauf, expert in gas and oil and author of a book regarding this issue, elaborates to Peregraf that Parker Drilling Company, a giant company from the United Stated, is drilling the Turka well, "however in other countries they are never allowed to work as such. Of course they have signed the agreement to protect the environment, but do they have the same regulations in Kurdistan as they have in the other countries like in Europe and America?"

The officials from Dana Gas are not ready to answer Peshawa’s question and the media's in general. Peregraf made an attempt at reaching the officials from the company but they were not ready to speak regarding the issue.

A familiar source with the Turka’s gas field disclosed to Peregraf that "there is no filter in the well to prevent the dangerous smoke from spreading directly to the atmosphere."

According to the source’s information, the black smoke is a test for now, "when it comes to the production of natural gas it would be fixed. But until then it stays as such," he also added: "It is not clear when the production shall start."

The members of Kurdistan Parliament are aware of the black smoke’s problem and have promised to investigate.

Jalal Mohamad Amin, Kurdistan MP, who is originally from the city of Chamchamal, told Peregraf that they will investigate the issue through the Health Committee of the parliament.

Rebwar Ahmad, Head of the Health and Environment committee of Sulaymaniyah Provincial Council, stated that Dana Gas must work according to global standards in that gas well, "The main problem is the production of oil and gas have not yet been nationalized in Kurdistan. The foreign companies who come to work within the region have a contract with the KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources. Therefore, the local administrations are not able to take actions against the companies."

KRG Board for the Protection of the Environment has issued 21 environmental conditions to the company and to factories, including the use of filters to reduce dangerous gases.  

Handren Shekh Raghib, spokesperson of the KRG’s environmental board told Peregraf that they would investigate the issue and if the company has not respected environmental conditions "they will be punished."

Doctor Didar Rizgar, an internist physician, elaborates the health risks of the smoke saying "Firstly, it is harmful for the human respiratory system, especially for those who suffer from difficulties in breathing. It also causes chest inflammation. It can cause chronic diseases including cancer."

According to a book entitled "The Harms and Dangers of Burning Gases" authored by Peshawa Shex Rauf, every year 20 million tons of carbon dioxide gas are spread in the skies of Iraq due to the burning of gases. The amount is equal to the harmful gas produced by 3.5 million cars.

The KRG Health Ministry's spokesman Khalis Qadir told Peregraf that pollution is the main cause of breathing, heart and brain diseases, as well as cancer especially lung cancer. The statistics from the World Health Organization show that seven million people die every year due to pollution.

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Black Smoke Threatens the People in Kurdish area

2019-06-14 19:02:25

Peregraf- Haval Zangana 

Intense black smoke billows out around a small area of the village of Turka and reaches the skies of the Kurdistan Region's town of Chamchamal, spread by a breeze. The people of the city believe that the smoke originates from the burning of tyres. However, it is something far more dangerous.

It has been more than three weeks since the first appearance of the smoke. According to some footages obtained by Peregraf, even at night time one can easily notice the presence of the smoke in the sky above Chamchamal.

The city of Chamchamal, located about 60 km to the west of Suleimanya Governorate, is rich in a massive reserve of natural resources, especially gas.

The source of the smoke is a gas well in the village of Turka, located about 3km to the North West of Chamchamal. Therefore, the smoke spread quickly towards the city and to the town of Sangaw.

Work is being undertaken at the well number three in the Turka field according to an agreement between the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) and Dana Gas Company with the aim to promote the production of natural gas.  

Karwan Ramazan, from Turka village, whose family still lives under the threat of the black smoke told Peregraf "I visit the village on a daily basis and I see how the smoke has affected not only the village but also the whole of Chamchamal area."

"It is not an incessant smoke. Sometimes it stops for some days. It can especially be felt at dawn. The residents of the village and the whole area can smell the burning of tyres which makes it difficult for breathing, especially for the nearby villages."

The well has reached to the gas however the work is still ongoing. The executive company is burning the gas to prevent it from spreading into the environment.

Hazhar Hoshyar, a resident in the center of the city of Chamchamal, is displeased with the ignorance of the smoke's danger, believing it might cause an increase in the rate of cancer for the people of the city.    

"It is okay to have a natural gas field in the city and the smoke can be taken away by two ways, either by putting a filter or by transferring the gas through a pipeline and burning somewhere far from inhabitants." 

Hazhar and some other residents of Chamchamal have decided to take the complaint to the Mayor of the city.

Most of Chamchamal’s natural gas production is from the Khor Mor field and recently the Turka field has been transferring through pipelines to Erbil and Chamchamal electricity stations.

Peshawa Shekh Rauf, expert in gas and oil and author of a book regarding this issue, elaborates to Peregraf that Parker Drilling Company, a giant company from the United Stated, is drilling the Turka well, "however in other countries they are never allowed to work as such. Of course they have signed the agreement to protect the environment, but do they have the same regulations in Kurdistan as they have in the other countries like in Europe and America?"

The officials from Dana Gas are not ready to answer Peshawa’s question and the media's in general. Peregraf made an attempt at reaching the officials from the company but they were not ready to speak regarding the issue.

A familiar source with the Turka’s gas field disclosed to Peregraf that "there is no filter in the well to prevent the dangerous smoke from spreading directly to the atmosphere."

According to the source’s information, the black smoke is a test for now, "when it comes to the production of natural gas it would be fixed. But until then it stays as such," he also added: "It is not clear when the production shall start."

The members of Kurdistan Parliament are aware of the black smoke’s problem and have promised to investigate.

Jalal Mohamad Amin, Kurdistan MP, who is originally from the city of Chamchamal, told Peregraf that they will investigate the issue through the Health Committee of the parliament.

Rebwar Ahmad, Head of the Health and Environment committee of Sulaymaniyah Provincial Council, stated that Dana Gas must work according to global standards in that gas well, "The main problem is the production of oil and gas have not yet been nationalized in Kurdistan. The foreign companies who come to work within the region have a contract with the KRG’s Ministry of Natural Resources. Therefore, the local administrations are not able to take actions against the companies."

KRG Board for the Protection of the Environment has issued 21 environmental conditions to the company and to factories, including the use of filters to reduce dangerous gases.  

Handren Shekh Raghib, spokesperson of the KRG’s environmental board told Peregraf that they would investigate the issue and if the company has not respected environmental conditions "they will be punished."

Doctor Didar Rizgar, an internist physician, elaborates the health risks of the smoke saying "Firstly, it is harmful for the human respiratory system, especially for those who suffer from difficulties in breathing. It also causes chest inflammation. It can cause chronic diseases including cancer."

According to a book entitled "The Harms and Dangers of Burning Gases" authored by Peshawa Shex Rauf, every year 20 million tons of carbon dioxide gas are spread in the skies of Iraq due to the burning of gases. The amount is equal to the harmful gas produced by 3.5 million cars.

The KRG Health Ministry's spokesman Khalis Qadir told Peregraf that pollution is the main cause of breathing, heart and brain diseases, as well as cancer especially lung cancer. The statistics from the World Health Organization show that seven million people die every year due to pollution.