The Iraq Water Project
The Iraq Water Project (IWP) is a project of Veterans for Peace, Inc. (VFP), a national veterans Peace & Justice organization based in St. Louis, Missouri. Our principal partner for IWP's major water facility reconstruction projects was Life for Relief & Development, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and dedicated to alleviating human suffering in Iraq and many other parts of the world. Currently, we are working with Muslim Peacemaker Teams, Iraq, and with a youth organization in Nassiriya to provide filtration units which supply clean water for schools, hospitals, and the Iraqi people.Veterans For Peace Asks For Your Contribution to Continue our Clean Water Projects in Iraq!
Special Report by Yusha (formerly Tom) Sager
Memorial Day, May 30, 2005
Thousands of families now have access to clean water.
Prior to the March 2003 US invasion, the Iraq Water Project sent three teams of veterans to Iraq who paid their own expenses and worked alongside the Iraqi laborers repairing water treatment plants. We were then proud to announce that thanks to the IWP six water treatment plants in different cities and provinces of Iraq were once again sending clean drinking water to more than 85.000 people. Read a post-invasion report by our IWP Project Coordinator sent from Iraq in August 2003.
In 1999, responding to the continuing crisis in Iraq due to the first
Gulf War and the devastating, comprehensive sanctions imposed by the United
Nations, Veterans for Peace members in the United States created the Iraq
The primary goal of the Iraq Water Project has been to save lives.
The second, but equally important goal of the
original IWP was to inform the American people about the devastating
effects a decade of sanctions had on the average citizens of Iraq and to
force an end to these sanctions against Iraq.
The sanctions were lifted, not as we’d hoped, through popular pressure on our
government, but as a byproduct
of US President George W. Bush’s unprovoked attack on that nation. The sanctions have been lifted because the War on Iraq
completed the desolation of the infrastructure, a foreseeable
consequence that was completely ignored in prewar planning.
The US made sure the oil was flowing, but did nothing to prepare
for the chaos that comes after the
violent fall of a government.
Now it is not only the vast rural areas that are without safe
drinking water, but the big cities as well.
From the very beginning the US occupation government and its Iraqi successors have been
even get the lights reliably on, feed the hungry or provide basic health
Before this latest war, and in calamitous consequence of earlier US policy, Iraq was a social and environmental disaster in the making. Now it is a social and environmental disaster, assembled and delivered.
A major readjustment of the project’s approach
was clearly necessitated by the advent of the United States 2003 invasion and
occupation. The project
goal of demonstrating to Americans the pernicious consequences of our
government’s Iraq policy remains, however, as important as ever.
But the unabating chaos that this war brought, and the vastly
heightened danger to personnel engaged in reconstruction are obstacles
not lightly dismissed.
In the fall of 2006 IWP decided to make a tactical
change in our campaign to help Iraqis. In place of water plant
rebuilds which benefit specific but limited urban and rural populations,
we switched over to a more diffuse approach, whereby we send small and
relatively inexpensive sterilizer and reverse osmosis units to public and private
institutions all over Iraq. This new direction offers the
advantage of a wider exposure to Iraq's people while at the same time
removing the pressure of funding deadline obligations. We send the
units at the rate that donations and grants come in. We are currently still allied with Life for Relief and Development, Muslim Peacemaker Teams, and with our friends at the youth/civil society organization in Nassiriya. Each of us is involved in the same sort of work and cooperation makes us stronger. Photographs on this
Thank you for your interest in the Iraq Water Project.