NORTH AND EAST SYRIA: Commune official Hanna Sawme talks about the role of the commune in provision of services to residents

ZALIN, Syria — In an interview with SuroyoTV, Hanna Sawme, a representative of the Syriac–Assyrian communes in Zalin (Qamishli) in North and East Syria discussed the role of the communes and the services they provide to residents.

“The Martyr Athro Commune, which includes three sub-communes, namely Severus, Aram, and Athro, covers the Central and Armenian neighborhoods and includes more than three thousand families,” explained Sawme. “During the last period, the commune secured water for residents and distributed it free of charge to avoid a water crisis as a result of water being cut off from some neighborhoods.”

“As for house diesel, we have registered nearly 2,000 families so that we can distribute it in the coming period and avoid problems during distribution,” said Sawme. “On the subject of domestic gas, registration is made in advance and each family takes a gas cylinder every month.”

In July, Abdullah Farho, an official with the Fuel Directorate of Gozarto (Jazira) Region, spoke with SuroyoTV about the measures the Directorate was taking to avoid a fuel shortage.

“The Directorate issued cards allowing for the distribution of three units of heating materials and twelve of fuel,” Farho said.

Sawme also talked about securing basic foodstuffs, such as bread, for the commune’s residents, saying, “The communes started distributing bread to the kiosks and selling it at a price of 125 Syrian Pounds per case. There is a pre-registration for bread with residents being given a family card similar to the system used by the Fuel Directorate.

“The communes work to serve their residents and secure their needs,” concluded Hanna. “Despite the spread of the coronavirus, we continue to work to facilitate the work of farmers, in addition to the formation of reconciliation committees and solving outstanding problems of residents.”