Mosul Locals take Reconstruction into their Own Hands

“It is a very heavy problem and the destruction is devastating,” Mosul’s mayor, Abdul Sattar al-Habbo, told NIQASH. “There are an estimated 11,500 destroyed or damaged buildings in the old city.”

Late in November the United Nations estimated there were over 7,000 damaged or destroyed buildings in the city. But up until now the reconstruction efforts and aid plans coming from the central government have been few and far between, al-Habbo says.

Two bridges are being repaired and one should be ready in about two months, the disconsolate mayor says. If the bridges are not rebuilt then commercial life will not return to the marketplace – the bridges connect the two halves of the city. Temporary floating bridges are not enough, locals say.

Many of the people who have returned to their ruined city wonder when the Iraqi government is ever going to do anything to help them rebuild their hometown. Some suspect that the federal authorities are waiting to attend a dedicated donor’s conference, scheduled to be held in Kuwait in February 2018.

Bazzaz, the old man with the burned store, cannot wait any longer. He says he will reopen the shop by himself. Like so many others here, he knows nobody is coming to help him.

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