Iraq – Supporting preparedness for a potential failure of the Mosul Dam

Continuous monitoring is taking place to measure the stability of the dam- (1).jpg
Continuous monitoring is taking place to measure stability of the dam

Upon request of the OCHA Country Office in Iraq, the Emergency Services Branch deployed an UNDAC team and an Environmental Emergencies expert to support preparedness for a potential failure of the Mosul Dam. The Mosul Dam and its risk of failure has been well documented and widely reported on in international media. However, a unique window of opportunity exists to undertake a number of priority preparedness actions to put key requirements in place for a potential large relief operation. The priority preparedness actions identified focus on a first tier of activities as follows:

  • Protocols/procedures to fast track the arrival of incoming humanitarian staff and relief items (visa waivers, tax and customs exemptions, identification of humanitarian and logistical hubs, etc.)
  • Design of an appropriate structure to facilitate coordination between military actors (both national and foreign) and humanitarian actors
  • Common parameters for humanitarian and security planning purposes, including caseloads and evacuation procedures (based on different scenarios)
Repair and mitigation works are being carried out at the dam.jpg
Repair and mitigation works are being carried out at the dam

The UNDAC team is in Iraq to support the development and adoption of the priority preparedness actions. Through networks and partnerships supported by OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch, the following support activities have also been activated:

  • The World Health Organization deployed its Emergency Medical Teams’ manager to Iraq to develop a protocol jointly with the UNDAC team
  • The European Union’s Joint Research Centre has, through the Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism, developed a number of dam failure scenarios (including flood maps)
  • UNOSAT has provided satellite imagery
  • The Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit has provided an overview of hazardous industrial installations in the flood zones

 

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