« Seminar: Current Situation and Issues surrounding Single Parents and Children (Miyako City, Iwate Prefecture) | Main | JEN Tohoku Partner Meeting in 2018 »


People taking refuge in the Sinjar Mountains

In March 2015, JEN started supplying water using a truck to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Sinjar Mountains in the Nineveh Province, northwestern Iraq.


JEN’s water-supply truck on a path in the Sinjar Mountains

In August 2014, an radical armed group took hold of Sinjar city and surrounding villages. The Yazidis, the old inhabitants of the region, were persecuted by the members of the armed group, being killed and sold because they believed in a different religion. Having nowhere to evacuate to, the Yazidis barely fled to near the top of the Sinjar Mountains, which were surrounded by the armed group, and took refuge on top of the rough and blowy mountains, suffering from fear, hunger and thirst.

Still, there were newborns among them. Revîn is one of them. She was born soon after her family evacuated to the Sinjar Mountains. She is now four years old. “Revîn” means to “escape” in Kurdish. Many girls born that year were given this name.


Revîn with a JEN staff member

Revîn, unlike most other girls of her age, openly told us about herself. “I’m looking forward to going to school in two years’ time,” she said. “I have many dreams for the future. One of them is to become a doctor. So I’ll study hard and do well at school.”


JEN’s June 2018 interview survey on the water supply activity and the evacuees’ livelihood situations revealed that most of the people currently living in the Sinjar Mountains were originally from villages near Sinjar city. In the survey, most of them have said that even today, after their home villages have been liberated from the armed group, houses and basic infrastructure have been severely damaged, the ethnic balance in the nearby villages has been changed, and the mopping-up operation for the survivors of the armed group is still going on, and therefore returning home is risky and not feasible.


An evacuee being interviewed in a tent


JEN staff checking a water-storage tank installed in each settlement

August 15, 2018 in Iraq |