As the clean up in Ramadi continues, locals and officials are applying for reconstruction aid. But there are problems already, with calls of foul and favouritism and a lack of billions in funding.
After the extremist group known as the Islamic State was pushed out of the central Iraqi city of Ramadi, the city was a disaster zone. Estimates suggest that almost 80 percent of the buildings here – including the majority of around 32,000 residential housing units, infrastructure, government departments and schools – have been damaged or destroyed.
Special engineering committees have been created in order to assess the damages, to award compensation and schedule re-building. Forms are being given out to members of the public that they can fill in, applying for a case number and detailing the damages to their property and even their furnishings. According to local administrators they will need around US$19.5 billion to rebuild the city.
It sounds well organised. But already problems are starting. Nasser Abed Mohammed, 52, lives in Ramadi’s eastern Bakr neighbourhood and says he has been waiting for days for members of one of the committees to come and assess the damage to his home. “Members of the committee know very well that this area has been almost completely destroyed,” Mohammed complains.