By John Lee.
To improve living conditions for returnee populations living in newly liberated areas, UNOPS – with funding from the government of Japan – is helping to provide renewable energy and emergency waste disposal services in three Iraqi governorates.
“[This project] comes at a time when Iraq is counting on its friends to recover after its battle against ISIS and after the liberation of Iraqi territories,” said Mr. Istabraq Al shook, Deputy Minister of Iraq’s Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and Public Works at a recent handover ceremony.
“The UN and the people of Japan and its government showed a solid commitment to stand by Iraq during critical hard times and after the crisis. Today’s closing ceremony is a testimony of this commitment,” he added.
With a $3.1 million donation from the government of Japan, UNOPS procured solid waste machinery and provided specialized training to local authorities on modern waste disposal systems, better utilization of debris, and waste sorting and recycling.
UNOPS further installed solar systems – to help alleviate frequent electricity shortages – as well as street lights and water heaters in six health facilities in the governorates of Anbar, Diyala and Ninewa.
“I hope that this project helps to urgently restore basic services needed for daily lives, such as energy and waste disposal, and that the people in those liberated areas can restore and lead a stable life as quickly as possible,” said Mr. Naofumi Hashimoto, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq.
“UNOPS remains committed to supporting the government and the people of Iraq in addressing significant challenges the country is facing, and remains grateful to the people and government of Japan for their continued support to the people of Iraq,” said UNOPS Programme Advisor Ms. Huda Al-Ani.
Mr. Ahmed Shalash, Deputy Director General of Engineering Affairs at the Ministry of Health and Environment, and Mr. Abdul Qadir Al Dhakheel, General Director of Ninewa Municipality attended the handover ceremony held in Baghdad.