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Update for April 2013

Thanks to our supporters and partners and especially to our chair, Art Dorland, the work of the Iraq Water Project continues to move forward under very difficult conditions. Working in a war zone is never easy; but I think Iraq is a particularly difficult location for Westerners to do humanitarian work.

Cathy Breen of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (formerly Voices in the Wilderness) was back in Iraq last year. She has a lot more courage than I have. I don't think I could face the Iraqi people after what our government has done to them; and after what we failed to prevent our government from doing to them. Here is what one Iraqi said to her, "You have destroyed everything. You have destroyed our country. You have destroyed what is inside of us! You have destroyed our ancient civilization. You have taken our smiles from us. You have taken our dreams! (Read Cathy's report here, http://vcnv.org/unfathomly-deep-wounds.)

In spite of all this, since last August, the Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project has placed 14 reverse osmosis water purification units in hospitals, clinics, schools and an orphanage in Diyala and Thi Qar Governorates at the cost of less than $50,000. That's a lot of potable water for a little chump change! But it's just a down-payment on the US government's trillion-dollar debt to the Iraqi people - a debt which our government, of course, never intends to pay. Potable water is the biggest life-saver of all. Without potable water, children die like flies of dysentery. Compare our work to that of the US State Department which spent $2.2 million building the Potemkin Chicken Factory that no one wanted and no one uses (except those of us who appreciate dark humor), https://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/03/07-12.

So our work continues. We work through a small NGO in Thi Qar and through our original partner, LIFE for Relief and Development, with whom we started repairing water treatment plants in Iraq 13 years ago.

Thanks to all of you who continue to donate to this very important project. If we had just 1% of USAID's billions, I think we could give every man, woman and child in Iraq clean water to drink! Thanks to engineer Faiza and her family, LIFE for Relief and Development, and our partners in Iraq. And special thanks to Art Dorland for all his hard work keeping this project alive and well! May God keep you safe from all harm and bless you and reward you for all your good works.

 

Yusha Sager, member

Iraq Water Project Committee