The Iraqi PM who chaired a cabinet meeting in Mosul on August 16th, has issued a 20-point list of issues to be addressed immediately to accelerate the process of reconstruction of war-ravaged province of Ninewa.
The trip is not the first by the PM who spent a dark evening while laid the foundation stone for Mosul train station due to power outage which lasted from 10 pm to 1 am. Turkey has targeted fighters in the Ezidi dominant district of Shingal mid-day, hours ahead of the scheduled trip of the PM.
Blood is pumping in the veins of Mosul yet its fatigue body requires more time and effort to recover.
The United Nations U.N. has estimated over 8,000 houses were destroyed in Mosul by the airstrikes aimed at IS root out. The nine-month operation left at least 9,000 dead, AP says.
Back in 2014, the Islamic State in iuraq and Syria ISIS had proclaimed its caliphate. Three years later, Iraqi forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition liberated the city in a fierce battle took lives of thousands and left Mosul in particular and the whole province of Ninewa in ruins
Party in the darkness
One of the worst sectors in Ninewa is power supply which affects all other sectors and services. Mohammed Hamid, media manager of Ninewa power said in the evening of PM visit to Mosul and while laying the foundation stone for Mosul train station, electricity was shut down completely for hours and halted all water supply projects.
“The file of power supply was on of the hot topics on the table. In the past we were asking for more power supply but now we ask to safeguard power transmission towers subject to sabotage acts.”
177 power transmission towers were targeted and 50 others were saved by the security forces whom defused IEDs planted under the towers, a senior civil servant of Kirkuk electricity anonymously told KirkukNow last week.
Some Mosulawis are welcoming the visits of Iraqi senior officials such as Iraqi parliament speaker and the PM a reference of keen efforts to rebuilt what is still standing while others think it’s a media campaign ahead of October 10th parliamentary elections.
Salih Mohammed, a civil activist in Mosul believes the heritage of the war is too heavy. “Improper hospitals, damaged bridges, crisis of fuel, destruction of entire neighborhoods, facilities and hotels, traffic jams and unemployment.”
“I hope the trips is the first step at the gate toward addressing these issues or at least part of it.”
The slow path of reconstruction made the local residents hopeless. Covid-19 pandemic diverted the priorities of the government and consequently its funds from reconstruction toward prevention.
The diversity of the population led to fraction among the Mosulawi community post ISIS as Baghdad, Erbil and other sides compete to establish their rule via armed forces. Lack of stability led to slow rebuilding.
“Mosul has been neglected. We got many promises by the central government for reconstruction yet unfortunately the funs have been stolen,” said Qasim Aboudi, a political analyst.
“The visit by the PM is to regain trust of the Mosul street.”
Ninewa is suffering
“We are sorry to see that Ninewa is lacks reconstruction and utilities,” PM Kadhimi said in cabinet session in Mosul.
“Corruption is a factor led Mosul to fell under control of Daesh gang. We fought corruption per our power and I know all Iraqis and people of Mosul supported us but the battle is long and it might be harder than fighting Daesh so we need to support each other,” he added.
Kadhimi pointed out a committee to supervise reconstruction of the city through a clear and quick road map.
“We have launched strategic projects like the airport and train station.”
The cabine session has pointed out practical guidelines for spending allocated funds, acceleration of pending projects, compensation for people touched by the war and activation of state industries.