Marking a key milestone in Fallujah’s recovery, the Government of Iraq and UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) re-opened Al Azrakiyah Water Treatment Plant, which provides safe water to more than 60% of the city.
The rehabilitation of the plant was one of the key projects requested by the Anbar Command Cell, which is responsible for stabilizing newly liberated areas.
The team working on the plant repaired the destroyed pump station and supplied key equipment, including water pumps and generators. All of the plant’s buildings and more than 40,000 square meters of land was cleared of explosive hazards by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
Nearly one year after the liberation of Fallujah, the stabilization of the city is well underway. Hundreds of thousands of people have returned home, basic services including water and electricity have been restored, and the local economy is picking up.
Since August 2016, more than 100 stabilization initiatives have been supported in Fallujah through UNDP’s Funding Facility. Grids have been repaired, public infrastructure re-opened and thousands of people, many from destitute families, have worked on public schemes, earning income while they helped to rebuild the city.
UNMAS’ partner has cleared almost 2 million square metres of land and infrastructure contaminated with explosives including five power plants, 12 health facilities, 13 sewage sites, 19 water points, and 88 schools.
At a ceremony marking the re-opening of the water treatment plant on Thursday, Sohaib al-Rawi, Governor of Anbar, said:
“The newly rehabilitated Al Azrakiyah Water Plant is essential to the improvement of access to safe drinking water to Fallujah households. Water supply projects are critical to improve our communities’ access to safe water and functioning sanitation systems. These projects are vital for sustaining the lives and well-being of men, women and children in Anbar.”
Ms. Lise Grande, UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq said:
“This is a symbol of Fallujah’s recovery. When we first saw the destruction at Al Azrakiyah none of us believed the water plant could be rebuilt so quickly. Everyone has worked together to get the job done in record time. The impact is huge. More than 60 percent of the city will now have safe drinking water.”
Mr. Pehr Lodhammar, Officer in Charge of UNMAS, said:
“The identification and removal of explosive hazards is the first step before stabilization initiatives or humanitarian interventions can take place in liberated areas. In Fallujah almost two million square meters of contaminated areas were cleared allowing stabilization activites to begin, and enabling families to return to Fallujah and to resume their lives.”
Established in June 2015, FFS is working in newly liberated areas in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewa Diyala, and Kirkuk Governorates. More than 1,000 projects are completed or being implemented across 23 locations. Since the start of the crisis, over 1.8 million people have returned to their homes.