Stabilization milestone in Fallujah, Iraq: city’s largest water treatment plant reopenedJun 6, 2017
Baghdad, Iraq—Marking a key milestone in Fallujah’s recovery after ISIL, the Government of Iraq and UNDP, through its Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), have reopened Al Azrakiyah Water Treatment Plant, to provide safe water to nearly two-thirds of the city.
The rehabilitation of the plant was one of the key projects requested by the Anbar Governorate’s Command Cell, which is responsible for stabilizing newly liberated areas. The team working on the plant repaired the destroyed pump station and supplied key equipment, including water pumps and generators. All of the plant’s buildings and more than 40,000 square meters of land were cleared of explosive hazards by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
Nearly one year after the liberation of Fallujah, the stabilization of the city is well underway. Hundreds of thousands of people have returned home, basic services including water and electricity have been restored, and the local economy is picking up.
Since August 2016, more than 100 stabilization initiatives have been supported in Fallujah through UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS). Electricity grids have been repaired, public infrastructure reopened and thousands of people, many from families living in poverty, have worked on public schemes, earning income while they helped to rebuild the city.
With a partner, UNMAS has cleared almost two million square metres of land and infrastructure contaminated with explosives including five power plants, 12 health facilities, 13 sewage sites, 19 water points, and 88 schools.
At a ceremony marking the reopening of the water treatment plant last Thursday, Sohaib al-Rawi, Governor of Anbar, said, “The newly rehabilitated Al Azrakiyah Water Plant is essential to improve access to safe drinking water for Fallujah households. Water supply projects are critical to improve our communities’ access to safe water and functioning sanitation systems. These projects are vital for sustaining the lives and well-being of men, women and children in Anbar.”
Ms. Lise Grande, UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, said, “This is a symbol of Fallujah’s recovery. When we first saw the destruction at Al Azrakiyah none of us believed the water plant could be rebuilt so quickly. Everyone has worked together to get the job done in record time. The impact is huge. More than 60% of the city will now have safe drinking water.”
Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, Officer in Charge of UNMAS, said, “The identification and removal of explosive hazards is the first step before stabilization initiatives or humanitarian interventions can take place in liberated areas. In Fallujah almost two million square meters of contaminated areas were cleared allowing stabilization activities to begin, and enabling families to return to Fallujah and to resume their lives.”
Through the FFS, which was established in June 2015, UNDP is working in newly liberated areas in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewa, Diyala, and Kirkuk Governorates. More than 1,000 projects are completed or being implemented across 23 locations. Since the start of the crisis, more than 1.8 million people have returned to their homes.
Lindsay Mackenzie in Iraq at email@example.com or +964 (751) 135 3085.