In Salah al Din and Anbar: Rebuilding comes after mine clearance
This International Day of Mine Awareness Day, let’s look at how important it is to mitigate the threat of explosive devices, while clearing rubble and rebuilding infrastructure Iraq has lost during the ISIL conflict.
Five years since Iraq’s liberation from ISIL, there has been significant progress made towards growing back, through rehabilitation of homes, institutions and building stability. Though, the challenge of safely clearing rubble due to the prevalence of explosive hazard still continues. To ensure Iraqis’ return home safely, a significant amount of recovery work remains to be done.
In Salah al Din, through UNDP Iraq’s flagship stabilization programme, rehabilitation of schools, homes and public infrastructure has been made possible due to first ensuring effective clearance of mines. However, challenges still persist in other areas, such as Baiji where a significant level of explosive hazard contamination still exists.
Despite these challenges, UNDP continues to work in Baiji thanks to its partnership with the specialized local authorities, Halo Trust, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) who actively coordinate the explosive hazard clearance of FFS project sites, in partnership with UNMAS.
The rehabilitation of both school supplies warehouse and Almazra’a water treatment plant in Baiji was recently completed after the removal of explosive ordnance and other hazardous objects from the site. Before any reconstruction and rehabilitation tasks can start, the area must be cleared from explosive hazards.
Like this, a specialized team of Explosive Ordnance Disposal from Baiji Police Department conducted a Non-Technical Survey and cleared the site of the school supplies warehouse in Baiji, Salah al Din supporting FFS team to complete its rehabilitation which will support 40,000 people.
Likewise, the rehabilitation of Almazra’a water treatment plant in Baiji, which was severely destroyed during the ISIL conflict, was completed. With the support from the Halo Trust, a humanitarian mine action organization, the site clearance was conducted enabling UNDP to restore access to water for 12,000 people living in the region.
- AlShatt PHC site in Baiji prior clearance and start of UNDP’s reconstruction
- With site clearance done, UNDP progressed in the reconstruction of AlShatt PHC site in Baiji.
The reconstruction of Al-Shatt Primary Health Center in Baiji is also underway after the successful explosive ordnance removal. Once completed, 20,000 people will have an improved access to health service.
- After conducted site clearance, UNDP progressed in rehabilitating the Albo Ali Al Jasmin sub PHCC in Ramadi, Anbar.
- Rehabilitation of Al-Fokanne bridge in Ramadi is underway after it was cleared from any explosives.
While in Anbar, the rehabilitation of Albo-Ali Al Jasmin public health care center and Al Fokani bridge in Ramadi is steadily moving after UNDP partnered with the Norwegian People’s Aid which conducted a Non-Technical Survey and confirmed that the sites are free of any explosive devices. Once completed, these facilities will serve over 10,000 residents who will return home.
To date, UNDP Iraq has currently implemented and completed over 2,900 stabilization projects in 31 liberated towns and districts in Iraq, assisting local authorities to quickly rehabilitate essential infrastructure and services like schools, hospitals, roads, water networks, and electricity systems. These efforts have supported the return of 4.7 million Iraqis displaced by ISIL.
This International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, we would like to applaud all the front-line workers, in the face of great challenges, including ongoing and protracted conflicts, new contamination, and the COVID-19, continue to risk their lives to ensure Iraqis return home safely.