Despite the Doom and Gloom, Reconstruction Remains a Priority in Diyala
March 31, 2007
The media has a tendency to focus their sites on doom and gloom reports. They focus on things such as attacks on our soldiers, the deaths of civilians and soldiers and outrageous actions by the insurgency. But, there is much more going on across Iraq then what the media would lead us to believe. There are positive things occurring everyday. Diyala province has been in the news a lot lately, as many of the insurgents have relocated there, since the security crackdown has begun in Baghdad. Additional troops have been moved into the area to help stem the increased violence that has occurred there.
Despite all of that doom and gloom, the coalition forces from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, still remain focused on reconstruction and rebuilding efforts in Diyala. In order for the people of the region to have a chance at a free and democratic society, the infrastructure must be rebuilt and essential services must be in place. Coalition forces are working hand in hand with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Government of Diyala, to ensure that the people of the province have the essential services that they need.
“All project assessments are done based on priorities established by the Government of Diyala, the tribal leaders and the local population. It doesn’t make sense for the Coalition to determine the needs of the people; they know better than us,” said Col. David W. Sutherland 3-1 Cav. commander and senior Coalition Forces officer in Diyala.
Since the brigage arrived in Diyala last fall, more tha 125 projects have been completed. These projects, in areas such as sewage, water, electricity and sanitation and total more than $21 million. The projects include the rebuilding of five sewage pump stations, cleaning and lining of four canal systems and the construction of three rural healthcare centers, a blind care center and 15 water projects. Because of these completed projects, 120,000 citizens enjoy improved sewage systems, 500,000 have a fresh water supply, 100,000 enjoy the benefit of electrical distribution netwrks, trash removal is provided for 150,000 citizens and approximately 2,000 square kilometers of farm land now has irrigation. As well, there are 18 economic assistance projects and 16 agriculture infrastructure projects.
The US Army Corps of Engineers are also at work on the construction of 8 other projects throughout Diyala Province, including a new prison at Khan Bani Sa’sd, 2 medical clinics in Baqubah, three water projects in Balad Ruz area and a court house in Dali Abbas. They have already completed several electrical projects in Baqubah, Khanaqin, Askar Etba and Khan Bani Sa’ad, as well as a court house in Khan Bani Sa’ad.
The Khan Bani Sa’ad Courthouse
(US Army photo)
“The governor’s priorities are sewage, electric, water and health care. Our efforts are achieving great improvements for the people of Diyala and the understanding of the government to serve the people,” Sutherland added.
The coalition forces continue working closely with the Government of Diyala and the Provincial Reconstruction Team to ensure that the specific needs of the people are addressed.