Officials Report on Rebuilding Progress in Iraq
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2004 News releases from Multinational Force Iraq today detailed continuing progress in the Iraq rebuilding effort.
Soldiers from the 13th Corps Support Command joined local sheiks and community leaders to open a new primary school in Bu-Hassan, near Balad, today. The 29th Signal Battalion from Fort Lewis, Wash., sponsored the construction of the Al Salam School, which was built from the ground up in about six months. The Army provided about $80,000 for construction, but members of the community and local contractors did the planning and work.
The school is one of more than 30 local infrastructure and water projects being managed by the 13th Corps Support Command civil affairs staff. Since January, the command has spent more than $2.7 million to improve local schools, clinics and irrigation systems.
Over the course of the last nine months, multinational forces have worked with community leaders throughout the Ninevah to provide more than $15 million in education, health care, construction and infrastructure improvements for the people of northern Iraq. Commander's Emergency Relief Program funds are available to Multinational Force Iraq units and leaders to help local communities create the infrastructure necessary to sustain a democratic society.
Almost one-third of the CERP funding, $5 million, was spent to improve security in the region and to equip security forces, including the police and National Guard. Money was spent to purchase medical supplies for the Iraqi National Guard, firefighting equipment for Mosul firefighters, safety equipment for correctional officers at the Mosul regional prison and equipment for the Mosul police department.
Education projects made up another large part of the total funding, officials said. Multinational forces helped rebuild and repair schools and colleges in the Ninevah region. Projects included repairs and renovations to the Tal Keif School, Al Kafaat School, Al Zuhor Secondary School, Al Hadba University College, Mosul Technical College and Mosul Jadeda Vocational School. Soldiers from the 416th Civil Affairs Battalion began a $1.4 million project to replace 20 mud-hut schools in rural villages with concrete buildings that will be complete by the time school starts in September. They have also purchased supplies for school custodial workers in Mosul.
Three Ninevah hospitals have been renovated. The Al Gogjaly Medical Clinic received $13,000 for repairs to the plumbing, doors and windows and for a new generator. The Ibn Alathyr maternity and pediatric hospital received renovations to its existing facilities as well as the addition of a teaching facility. The Ibn Sinna Hospital received repairs to its 25-person patient elevator.
Ninevah's agricultural sector received funding for a soil analysis laboratory, the first to be built in Iraq. The country's first artificial insemination lab for cattle and sheep will also be built in Ninevah. The Fayda grain elevator is being remodeled to serve farmers in northern Iraq, eventually storing approximately 30,000 metric tons of grain. CERP funding also bought foot-and- mouth disease vaccines, provided to local farmers at no cost, for the region's sheep and cattle.
A Ninevah business center and small business loan program were created to stimulate economic growth in northern Iraq by supporting entrepreneurship and small businesses.
About $3 million was spent to improve the water and sewer conditions in the northern region. New wells and water lines were built at 55 sites throughout the region, and new sewage pipes were placed throughout Mosul to improve sanitary conditions for city residents.
Extensive renovations are in progress at the Qayyarah oil refinery in northern Iraq, which had sat in disrepair since the Iran/Iraq war. About $300,000 has been spent to make the refinery a productive industry in the Qayyarah area. It eventually will employ 450 workers, stimulating the local economy, and produce 400 tons of asphalt daily to repair miles of roads in the region. It will be the largest asphalt-producing plant in the Middle East.
Soldiers from the 133rd Engineer Battalion are working in the Dianyah region of northern Iraq, repairing roads, schools, municipal facilities and Iraqi Border Patrol forts. This project is ongoing and will cost about $200,000.