During the rainy season in Iraq, Wasit suffers from a combination of heavy rainfall and uncontrolled torrents of water from neighboring Iran, leaving part of the province paralyzed. While the Governor’s Office has always done its best to respond to resulting flooding emergencies, Governor Malik Wadi expressed his desire to improve the province’s ability to respond by being prepared for emergencies. The Governor reached out to GSP/Taqadum for technical assistance in this regard. In response, the project designed a program to train Wasit officials, particularly the Crisis Cell and the newly established Field Technical Team (FTT), in disaster preparedness and damage assessment. After training and technical assistance provided through workshops in January and February (please refer to Weekly Reports D460 and D472, respectively, for more information), the Governor and the FTT sprung to action in response to the flooding that resulted from the heavy rains of March 19.
On March 20, Wasit officials led by Governor Wadi, demonstrated their preparedness, immediately evacuating the families that were impacted by the rain. In addition, and as a direct result of the GSP/Taqadum training, the FTT began an immediate assessment of the flood damages. The FTT’s ability to accurately and thoroughly assess the damages will contribute to quicker disaster response measures, which will result in a faster recovery for Wasit as a province, as well as for the individuals personally affected by the flooding. The Governor commended the Crisis Cell for its quick action and provided all needed support for the FTT to implement their assessment. The third of the three Wasit Disaster Preparedness workshops will take place in April.