Below is a summary of the hydroponics project in Iraq. We are in constant search for support and funding for the project. If you feel you can support us in any way please contact us by email.

Hydroponics in Qaraqosh, Iraq

Post-war cities like Qaraqosh, near Mosul, Iraq, bear the scars of conflict well past their liberation in 2016 from ISIS control. The term ‘liberation’ implies a return to normalcy, yet the city contends with fresh attacks and displacement. Amidst partially destroyed buildings and economic instability, the focus extends beyond infrastructure to rebuilding Qaraqosh’s community and empowering residents with the skills for reconstruction.

During 2023-2024 we have been developing a hydroponics farm and training facility in Qaraqosh (also called Al-Hamdaniya or Bakhdida) which is located 20 miles beyond the city of Mosul. The city is the largest Christian town in Iraq and was under the control of ISIS until October 19, 2016. As a result of the occupation and during the war to liberate it, ISIS largely destroyed the town, including the churches, commercial buildings, and homes. Today it presents itself with two faces: one still in ruin, the other full of people returning, rebuilding, and trying to breathe new life into the city.

Qaraqosh is situated 20 miles to the east of Mosul. On the right is the Kurdish capital of Erbil.
Qaraqosh from Google maps.

Our fundraising for the project aims to contribute to the redevelopment of Qaraqosh by using hydroponics as a new food-producing technology in the region. One of the reasons for choosing hydroponics is due to the ever-increasing water shortage. Hydroponics systems, recirculate water meaning they use less water per plant, against soil-based growing where the water is lost to the ground. Hydroponics are also more efficient than soil gardens, where crops grow quicker, and nutrients can be targeted. Also, hydroponics gardens are mobile entities, and residents can move the structures in the event of the threat of war. This idea of the mobile war garden was previously trailed in Idlib, Syria.

We began building in March 2023, with Dr Shaher Abdullateef, co-founder and Director of Syrian Academic Expertise and an expert in hydroponics. Dr Shaher was invited to visit Iraq to support the regional charity, Al Raja & Al Salam, as a teacher and trainer. Al Raja & Al Salam works with refugees and forced migrants in the region, particularly those from Mosul.

Below are some images from the initial build of the unit in March 2023. Also, further images from 2024 show the polytunnel being built alongside crops growing such as spinach, spring onion, parsley, and cucumber.

The system being built, March 2023

Additional polytunnel growing

In late 2023 we raised enough funding for the construction of a polytunnal. The polytunnel will allow all year round growing, protecting the crops in the cold winter in the region. It will also allow us to extend the hydroponic system and therefore produce more crops.

Hydroponics in Erbil, Kurdish region.

Erbil is the capital of Kurdistan, and apart from the occasional aggression from neighbouring Iran, it is a stable, and well-resourced area within the autonomous Kurdish region. Seeds, fertilizers, and plastic piping are readily available, transport is safe, and materials are affordable in the large markets in Erbil as well as the agricultural supplies stores. In Erbil we based our project in the administration compound of the charity in Ankawa (see map), which is supplied with water and electricity as well as a secure fence.