Web update May 2015
Hereís a brief update on work
accomplished by Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project in the fourteen month
period since the last posting, March 2014. Our reports are normally a little
more timely, but check what follows.
Four new reverse osmosis water
units have been placed in Iraqi schools as follows:
In March 2014 Life for Relief and
Development, through its Iraqi partner alRafad upgraded the water systems of 2
schools at Khanaqin, Diyala Province.These included Mishkalan Boys School with
438 students, and the Kurdish Ziyad Boys School, 286 students. Khanaqin is
located close to the Iran border. A combination of a reverse osmosis
filter/water cooler together with a holding tank was plumbed into each school.
The following month the same combination was installed by alRafad at Zaituna School for Girls and Chiya School for Boys and Girls (boys morning, girls afternoon). These schools are also at Khanaqin, 550 students combined.
Cost for both projects about
Just as importantly we have
managed to get some maintenance work done at previous locations. 15 units at
various sites in or near Nassiriya, were repaired or serviced with replacement
parts. Schools and clinics alike were revisited by our partner in southern Iraq,
a Youth organization operating out of Nassiriya. This work came in at $1750.
As this report goes to press, our
Nassiriya friends have undertaken installation of four more water units in their
area, funded by IWP at a price of $3950. I should mention that along with the
estimated cost we always send a couple of hundred extra dollars to this small
organization in appreciation of their valuable work.
Anyone who has watched the steady
pattern of this project over the past several years will be puzzled by the
recent slowdown. Since the midpoint of its history, late 2006, IWP has placed
some 150 small water units in various parts of Iraq, yet over the past year or
so only four new ones, with four more in process. Why the decline?
You canít pull your oars
efficiently upstream with the river in flood. Even before the disastrous US
invasion and occupation, this was difficult territory to operate in, no matter
how careful and circumspect the Iraqi technicians, and anyone this side of the
world with functioning sensory organs knows about the murderous catastrophe
hurled upon northern Iraq and Syria last summer. United States foreign and
military policy is not the only egregious bad actor in these badland parts. The
already grievous suffering is compounded for the luckless people, and work made
harder, or impossible, for NGOs and other groups trying to help them.
The Nassiriya Youth Group is still
with us and planning more water improvement activity which we hope to support.
Their area in the south of Iraq is marginally more stable, though for the
average American this would be no bread and picnic basket lunch
either. As well, we are still engaged with Muslim Peacemaker Teams/Iraqi
American Reconciliation Project in Najaf. Life for Relief and Development has
proposed two new sites in Diyala.
We can keep going as long as
donations appear. Perhaps you might consider reaching a helping hand to the
people of Iraq through our little project. There are few opportunities for
Americans to do good of this nature in Iraq, but this is one.
Thanking everyone for your interest.
Art Dorland, for the IWP Committee