This International Day of Mine Awareness Day, let’s look at how important it is to mitigate the threat of explosive devices, while clearing rubble and rebuilding infrastructure Iraq has lost during the ISIL conflict. Read on. 

Five years since Iraq’s liberation from ISIL, there has been significant progress made towards growing back, through rehabilitation of homes, institutions and building stability. Though, the challenge of safely clearing rubble due to the prevalence of explosive hazard still continues. To ensure Iraqis’ return home safely, a significant amount of recovery work remains to be done.

In Salah al-Din, through UNDP Iraq’s flagship stabilization programme, rehabilitation of schools, homes and public infrastructure has been made possible due to first ensuring effective clearance of mines. However, challenges still persist in other areas, such as Baiji where a significant level of explosive hazard contamination still exists.

Addressing these challenges,  in partnership with UNMAS, UNDP continues to work in Baiji thanks to its partnership with the specialized local authorities, Halo Trust, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) who actively coordinate the explosive hazard clearance of rehabilitation sites.

The rehabilitation of the school supplies warehouse and the Almazra’a water treatment plant in Baiji was recently completed after the removal of explosive ordnance and other hazardous objects from the site. Before any reconstruction and rehabilitation can start, the area must be cleared from explosive hazards.

The school supplies warehouse site in Baiji, Salah al-Din before explosive clearance and UNDP’s rehabilitation
After site clearance , UNDP team rehabilitated the school supplies warehouse in Baiji, Salah al-Din

Like this, a specialized team of Explosive Ordnance Disposal from Baiji Police Department conducted a Non-Technical Survey and cleared the site of the school supplies warehouse in Baiji, Salah al-Din. This is an important step in the rehabilitation process which will benefits over 40,000 people once completed.

The Almazra’a WTP site in Baiji, Salah al-Din before rehabilitation and explosive clearance
The Halo Trust, humanitarian mine action organization, cleared the site of Almazra’a WTP site in Baiji, Salah al-Din
The rehabilitated Almazra’a WTP site in Baiji, Salah al-Din

Similarly, the rehabilitation of the Almazra’a water treatment plant in Baiji, which was severely destroyed during the ISIL conflict, was completed. With the support from the Halo Trust, a mine action organization, the site clearance was conducted enabling UNDP to restore access to water for 12,000 people living in the region.  

 

 

 

  • Al-Shatt Primary Health Centre site in Baiji prior clearance and start of UNDP’s reconstruction

  • With site clearance done, UNDP progressed in the reconstruction of the Al-Shatt Primary Health Centre site in Baiji.

       

The reconstruction of Al-Shatt Primary Health Center in Baiji is also underway after the successful explosive ordnance removal. Once completed, 20,000 people will have improved access to health services. 

 

 

 

  • After conducted site clearance, UNDP progressed in rehabilitating the Albo Ali Al Jasim sub PHCC in Ramadi, Anbar. 

  • Rehabilitation of Al-Fokanne bridge in Ramadi is underway after it was cleared from any explosives.

While in Anbar, the rehabilitation of Albo-Ali Al Jasmin public health care center and Al Fokani bridge in Ramadi is steadily moving after UNDP partnered with the Norwegian People’s Aid which conducted a Non-Technical Survey and confirmed that the sites are free of any explosive devices. Once completed, these facilities will serve over 10,000 residents.

To date, UNDP Iraq has currently implemented and completed over 2,900 stabilization projects in 31 liberated towns and districts in Iraq, assisting local authorities to quickly rehabilitate essential infrastructure and services like schools, hospitals, roads, water networks, and electricity systems. These efforts have supported the return of 4.7 million Iraqis displaced by ISIL.

This International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, we thank all the front-line workers, in the face of great challenges, include COVID-19, for continuing to work towards ensuring Iraqis return home safely.

 

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