Open Sewers, Unpaved Roads: Baghdad Boasts 700 Unfinished Reconstruction Projects
Local authorities admit there are hundreds of unfinished construction projects in Baghdad. And nobody knows who to blame. The contractors say politicians are blackmailing them. The politicians say contractors are not up to the job and are working unsupervised. Will anything ever get done?
In order to cross their street, Qusay and his three children need to use the stepping stones they have arranged specifically for the purpose. The street they live on in the Shaab neighbourhood, in Baghdad’s north east, is full of rancid water and muddy sand – a drainage project was started here three years ago but remains incomplete.
“It seems that it will be finished,” Qusay, 34, complains. “Drilling here started three years ago but Baghdad’s council hasn’t made any serious effort to complete this project. Every official accuses the other of delaying the project, nobody will take responsibility and the state of the street is having a really bad effect on the area – especially during winter.”
Ask the councilmen in Baghdad and they will say that it is the fault of the previous council, which they accuse of not having a clear strategy or enough money to complete many of the local projects.
The head of Baghdad’s current provincial council, Riyadh al-Adhadh, told NIQASH that there were an estimated 700 incomplete projects, most of them in service or health care related areas, most of them supposed to be completed in either 2013 or 2014.