Baghdad’s 700 Unfinished Reconstruction Projects

The head of the Services and Construction Committee in Baghdad’s Parliament, Fayan Dakheel Saeed, agrees that Baghdad has some big problems in this area and that it is having a negative impact on the Iraqi capital.

One of the major reasons for the delay is the lack of, or style of, supervision, Dakheel Saeed says. Some of the projects are not supervised at all by the department that gave them the contract. In others there is nobody supervising the projects – such an engineer – who understands it well enough to see when things are going wrong. “Many of the projects have failed or stalled because of poor planning and lack of supervision,” she confirms.

Meanwhile Karim, one of the contractors working in Baghdad, who did not want to give his full name because of business sensitivities, blames corruption on all sides for the problem. Firstly, he says, often the official supervisors blackmail the contractors who are doing the work.

“If we don’t do what they say, they make us suffer – with unexpected inspections and irrelevant excuses that have nothing to do with the nature of the work we are doing,” Karim explains.

Secondly, he says, a lot of the contractors working on jobs in Baghdad are not qualified for the jobs they take on. And then, he adds, “some of them also deliberately delay the projects in order to get more money out of the authorities than had been agreed upon. That’s another reason for all the delays.”

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