Iraqi Kurdistan’s Lone Water Keeper

Maaz Farhan: Iraqi Kurdistan could have a serious water problem by 2025, authorities say. One Sulaymaniyah man is using his skills as an artist and video maker to highlight pollution in local waterways.

Even the fish don’t get to swim where they want to in Iraqi Kurdistan, says Nabil Musa, a 40-year-old local of Sulaymaniyah, who is becoming known as the northern region’s “waterkeeper”.

Musa is the only Iraqi member of the international organization, the Waterkeeper’s Alliance, based in New York. The organization’s objective “is drinkable and fishable, swimmable water everywhere”.

That is why Musa and his three friends are trying to use innovative methods to draw local attention to the problems in Iraqi Kurdistan. And in terms of the fish, Musa explains that various dams in the region have distorted fish migration. “That changes the nature of the animals in the water,” explains Musa, who returned home to Iraqi Kurdistan from Europe in 2011.

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