Improving The Lives Of Iraqi Citizens… Thousands At A Time

April 30, 2007

Here at ASM, we’re constantly attempting to share the positive things that are occurring daily in Iraq, due to the presence of our troops and our Coalition partners. Such as improvements to the nations infrastructure, that wouldn’t be possible if the troops weren’t committed to not only sharing the gift of freedom with Iraqis, but also assisting them in improving basic living conditions for their people.

Can you imagine living without running water that is safe to drink? Can you imagine not having running water to shower with, or to flush your toilets, or wash your clothes with? Until recently, that was a daily reality for citizens in 13 villages in Iraq. For many it was something that they could only dream of until recently. Running water is something that we all take for granted here in the United States. Something that we scream and holler about, if it gets shut off due to a water main break. Running water is something that we here feel that we deserve, something that the people in these 13 villages considered a luxury that they might never be able to have.

Iraqi children in the Northern Iraq province of Erbil playing with a water hose

Over 26,000 residents in 13 villages across Iraq now have potable water, due to a water well project that was just completed by the Army Corps of Engineers, as part of the Iraq Reconstruction Program. The US Army Corps of Engineers(USACE) because this project last year and it was completed last month. Each project in the 13 villages consisted of constructing deep water wells, providing a supply of generators and immersible pumps, constructing steel and concrete water tanks, installing miles of pipeline, building water taps and expanding the distribution system, to reach more residents.

“Kurdistan is suffering from a shortage of clean water and lack of water sources and water pipe,” said Younis Talib, an Iraqi electrical engineer employed by the USACE Gulf Region North’s Erbil Resident Office. Talib was responsible for quality assurance and quality control of the project. “This project is one of the many that are essential to solve water problems in the Erbil Province, designed to stabilize the water source in 13 villages.”

Until these projects were completed, the people inhabiting these 13 villages didn’t have enough water. Some depended on spring sources for their water, a source that couldn’t be guaranteed to be potable. Others were dependant on delivery of water by trucks or they personally carried water containers in their vehicles, according to Talib.

Nawzad Hadi, the governor of Erbil said, “The water that US Army Corps of Engineers (made possible) to Bnberzi Bchka has allowed many village people to move back to their village. I am grateful for all other projects which are done and which are under construction by US Army Corps of Engineers that positively impacted the Kurdish people.”

Maj. Jennifer Munro, deputy area engineer in the Gulf Region North distict Mosul area office added, “This is an exciting program that has provided water to 26,000 people. It revitalized communities that had stagnated when families were forced to leave their homes during Saddam’s era. [Now] these villages are growing and thriving.”

According to USACE sources, many years of neglect to the infrastructure, violence and sabotage had created critcal shortages of potable water in Iraq, which is home to some 30 million citizens. Since the sovereignty in 2004, the Iraqi Reconstruction Program has brought improvements in that area, allowing an estimated 2.4 million citizens across Iraq to have access to approximately 120 million gallons of treated water on a daily basis. It is further estimated that when all of the water improvement projects are completed across the nation, that some 8.4 million Iraqis will benefit from around 300 million gallons of treated water daily.

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