FINES COLLECTED FROM POLLUTERS IN KURDISTAN REGION RARELY USED TO FUND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFORTS: OFFICIALS - NRTtv report
SULAIMANI — In theory, fines levied by the government against polluters in the Kurdistan Region are supposed to fund environmental initiatives and expand inspections to uncover additional violations, but current and former officials at the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Environmental Board say that the money is routinely diverted for other uses.
As a result, those charged by the government with leading environmental protection measures are deprived of dedicated and steady financing streams that are “more than enough to provide support” for the Board’s operations and allow it to expand its activities, former head of the Environmental Board Hallo Mustafa Askari told NRT in an interview.
Instead the money goes directly to the KRG’s Ministry of Finance and Economy, which rarely allocates it back to the Board.
“Our laboratories are not up to date. We need new technologies to inspect factories and cities. We have one air quality monitoring station in Sulaimani and one in Erbil…both of which are out of operation due to broken parts,” Askari said.
“It’s a disaster,” he added.