Saturday, December 11, 2010

Late rains pour hope on Kurdistan Region

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Erbil, Dec. 11 (AKnews) – The long-awaited rains have finally arrived in the Kurdistan Region, bringing hope to its sky-dependent farmers.

This year’s rains were already two months late according to weather calculations raising concerns among the people and especially farmers of a drought. The rainy season in Kurdistan usually starts in September and ends in early May.

“It is forecast that the rains will cover the entire Kurdistan Region…but more densely in Dohuk province” said Hasan Wahab, director of Kurdistan meteorology and weather forecasting dept.

The rains usually come at the beginning of the autumn in September, ending as late as May. But in recent years, this has changed. The rains come much later than they should, and finish as early as March.

Kurdistan meteorology office said the rains will cover the whole of the Kurdistan Region and spread as far as central Iraq. In mountainous areas, snow may fall.

In late November, and early December, tens of thousands of people in Kurdistan headed to the countryside in congregations of “rain prayers” - a tradition in Kurdish society practiced every year when the rains are late to arrive.

The Kurdistan region has 8 million dunams of agricultural land, however, only half a million dunams are irrigated with an additional 300,000 dunams being irrigated by artesian wells. for the rest of the land, the farmers depend on rainfall.

The Friday had a cheering effect on the people of the region. One pedestrian in Erbil city’s Iskan Street, leaving a shopping mall and seeing the rain, said “God, keep it raining, please don’t let it stop.”

Raber Y. Aziz

Saturday, December 11th 2010 12:19 PM