A Yezidi man stands outside a shop on Mount Shingal where hundreds of families who fled ISIS are still living in tents. Photo: Hannah Lynch/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Clearing debris and repairing roads are the focus of a “major public service campaign” for Shingal announced by Iraq’s Ministry of Construction and Housing on Thursday.
The plan is to clear rubble, re-open roads, and repair and open Yezidi temples.
"About 30,000 tons of trash have been thrown away,” the ministry stated. “In order to return life to Shingal, providing services in the centre and the outskirts of Shingal continues.”
The ministry also plans to open government buildings in order to begin providing services like issuing passports and identity cards.
Though Shingal was liberated from ISIS in 2015, there has been little effort to rebuild the town.
About two-thirds of the Yezidi population are still living in camps, largely in Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province.
Others have left Iraq and emigrated to Europe, North America, or Australia.
Those who have returned to Shingal are living with little money and no services.
The ability to return to their homes and resume their lives with dignity is a question hanging over the Yezidi community trying to recover from genocide.
Shingal came under the control of Baghdad last October when Iraqi forces took the disputed areas from the Peshmerga.