Water & Sanitation: Weekly status report of Iraqi reconstruction

In its weekly fact sheet, USAID has highlighted the status of several water infrastructure related projects, offering a progress report on the reconstruction effort in Iraq -- the largest such effort since World War II.

WASHINGTON, DC, July 28, 2004 (USAID) -- This fact sheet highlights overall accomplishments and some weekly activities from USAID's reconstruction efforts in Iraq. For additional details, see www.usaid.gov/iraq.

Highlights this week, 07/28/04:
-- A U.S. NGO is working with USAID to begin water and sanitation projects in three internally displaced persons' (IDP) locations and one returnee location in Ninewa Governorate. The project will ensure that clean water in sufficient quantity for drinking, cooking and personal/domestic hygiene, will be provided to each person. The three internally displaced locations are comprised of 29 sites and 16,800 persons of Arab descent.

Many of the sites urgently require clean water and several have no water supply at all. The program will provide tankered water with small-scale temporary storage and water connections and will conduct necessary repairs to damaged wells or networks that may already be in place to ensure the host population also benefits from the work once the IDP population has been resettled.

* See complete report at: Weekly Update #42

Highlights this week, 07/21/04:
-- The rehabilitation of a water treatment plant in a poor area of Baghdad governorate is complete, and nearly 1 million residents are now benefiting from the provision of potable water in their area. The plant was operating at 55-60% of its 3,000 m3/day capacity before the rehabilitation, as one of plant's three clarifiers was no longer working.

This decrease in the quality and amount of water impacted two local hospitals, five primary health centers, 120 schools, and approximately 600,000 household beneficiaries. Through this project, the plant's clarifier tank pumps, chlorinators, alum dosing pumps, flash mixer, intake structure, and electronic control boards were repaired. The water treatment plant is now operating at full capacity. This project was supported by USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

-- The rehabilitation of three water and sewage treatment sites in central Iraq is complete, improving services for more than 50,000 people. These initiatives were supported by USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) in an effort to quickly improve public health through the provision of potable water and the proper treatment of sewage.

-- On June 22, the rehabilitation of a Babil Governorate water treatment plant was completed. Prior to the rehabilitation, the plant had only been operating at about 60 percent of its capacity of 10,000m3/day. The town and surrounding villages of 30,000 people were receiving inadequate water quantity and unclean, unfiltered water. USAID supported emergency repairs to the plant's lifts, pumps, clarifiers, and alum system to ensure the plant operates to capacity and provides an adequate quantity of potable water.

-- On June 18, the rehabilitation of three compact water treatment units in Wasit Governorate was completed. Two of these units were not functioning entirely, meaning that 5,200 residents were using raw water and grey channels as their means of water for drinking and washing. The third unit was functioning very inefficiently because of a non-functioning clarifier/purification system that was pumping untreated water to a village of 4,000. These three rehabilitated units are now providing 9,500 people with clean, potable water.

-- On June 28, two sewage pumping stations in the Wasit Governorate began treating sewage after the completion of USAID's rehabilitation work. Flooding of residential areas with sewage water and grey water was causing a health hazard for 11,000 local residents. Water was seeping into the water network, which was polluting the drinking water and causing sewage to overflow into the streets. USAID undertook and completed emergency repairs which included replacing the two pumps, providing maintenance of screens, and replacing two automatic electric float valves. Repairs to these two sewage-pumping stations stopped the flow of grey water that was polluting the water supply and eliminated the flow of sewage in the streets for all 11,000 residents.

-- The rehabilitation of a water treatment plant in northern Iraq is now underway with two Iraqi subcontractors mobilized to the site. The rehabilitation of this plant began in June 2004; the major goal of this project is to repair leaks and mechanical and electrical equipment in the plant's structure which are preventing the distribution of potable water to the area. The plant has been in operation for about 10 years and has experienced noticeable settlement in a number of its structural features, which are causing the leaks from pipes and tanks. This project will determine the cause and remedy the situation. Most recently, hydro-testing of the plant's first four clarifiers was completed. Piping, mechanical, and electrical repairs are all underway. The rehabilitation of this plant is expected to be complete in November 2004.

* See complete report at: Weekly Update #41

EDITOR'S NOTE: It should be pointed out that PennWell Corp. will host a conference and exhibition Sept. 13-15 in Manama, Bahrain, Iraq Reconstruction: Petroleum.Power.Water.Fire & Safety.Telecom, as a cross-sector event focusing on the world's largest reconstruction project since the end of the Second World War. For more information, contact Tel: +44 (0)1992 656 643, Fax: +44 (0)1992 656 700, Email: deekas@pennwell.com or Website: http://ir04.events.pennnet.com/.

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