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Nearly One Million Children to Benefit from Plan to Improve Sulaimaniyah’s Solid Waste Management

Sulaimaniyah, 03 June 2012 - A plan to improve the management of solid waste in the Sulaimaniyah Governorate in northern Iraq has been completed.


“After more than one year of work, this plan is critical to ensure a cleaner environment as well as improve the public health and overall well-being of Sulaimaniyah’s two million residents,” said the Minister of Municipalities and Tourism in the Kurdistan Regional Government, Mr. Dilshad Shahab.


Sulaimaniyah produces an average of 2,500 tonnes of solid waste per day, most of which is disposed in 75 open and unregulated disposal sites that are not in accordance with international standards.  Only one landfill site in Sulaimaniyah at present follows international standards to ensure quality solid waste separation and compacting.


Developed jointly by the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism and UNICEF, the Solid Waste Master Plan provides a vision and action plan to guide Sulaimaniyah authorities to address all solid waste management needs in the Governorate over the next 20 years.  The plan aims to close 20 of the open sites by the end of 2012 and all of the other unregulated sites within three years.  It also includes the development of six additional internationally regulated landfill sites where all of the Governorate’s solid waste will be safely disposed. A partnership with a local cement company will further see some of the solid waste used as a source of energy.  


“This management plan is an important step in making Sulaimaniyah healthier for its nearly one million children,” said UNICEF Representative in Iraq, Dr. Marzio Babille.  “We will continue to work closely with the Government to ensure this plan turns into actions that tangibly improve the quality of life for all of Sulaimaniyah’s children and women, especially those who are most deprived.” 


UNICEF has completed similar solid waste management plans in Basra, Dohuk and Erbil Governorates, and is currently finalizing solid waste plans in Anbar and Thiqar Governorates.  UNICEF plans to use these solid waste plans as models to work with Iraq’s 12 other governorates in developing their respective solid waste plans in the coming years. 


Governorate solid waste management plans are instrumental to Iraq attaining the UN Millennium Development Goal 7, which involves improved access to adequate waste disposal services and ensuring environmental sustainability by 2015. 



About UNICEF Iraq
UNICEF has been in Iraq since 1983 working to ensure Iraqi children survive and realize their full potential. UNICEF maintains its comparative advantage in health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, child protection and social policy in its support to the Government of Iraq. UNICEF supports the development of child-friendly policies, building the capacity of institutions that deliver essential services to children, and convening all duty bearers to realize the full rights of Iraqi children. Via a network of staff and partners, UNICEF’s programmes improve basic health services, safeguard a quality education, develop water and sanitation systems, protect children from abuse, violence, and exploitation, and meet the needs of the most deprived and vulnerable.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:


For further information please contact:

Jaya Murthy, UNICEF Iraq, +962796926190,

Salam Abdulmunem, UNICEF Iraq, +9647809126782,



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