Sadr City Water Treatment Facility Flows
Thursday, 22 January 2009
By Maj. Mike Humphreys
4th Infantry Division
BAGHDAD — Tribal leaders, Sadr City council members, Iraqi workers and engineers, and members of the Baghdad Water Authority gathered at the Sadr City Rusafa Water Treatment Facility in the Hay Ur neighborhood of Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district to witness the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Baghdad’s mayor officially open this modern facility, Jan. 21.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker thanked the crowd of approximately 200 guests for the opportunity to open the facility he said would help shape the future of Baghdad and Iraq.
“This is truly a strategic project,” Crocker said. “It provides 96,000 cubic meters of water to Baghdad per day, and the United States of America is proud and pleased to have financed this project and to see it through to completion with our close friends and our partners in the mayoralty and the government.”
The Rusafa Water Treatment Facility, completed in October at a cost of $65 million, took three years to complete. It provides 4,000 cubic meters of fresh water per hour to northeastern Baghdad, to include 27 sectors of Sadr City.
“This project is the most important, and probably the biggest, project for Sadr City,” said Navet Al Essawi, Baghdad mayor. “This project and others like it will clear the path of terrorism.”
The facility has been providing potable water to Sadr City and surrounding areas for more than three months. The ceremony served to not only demonstrate a return of essential services to the region but as a symbol of closure for the people in an area that had been marred by violence for so long, said Maj. Brian Horine, the civil military operations officer for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, who assisted the Baghdad government with the ceremony.
“This opening is about what the Government of Iraq has done for the people. This facility was started more than two years ago when Sadr City was in the height of bad times,” said Horine. “Today, security and stability has returned, allowing this to happen.”
The mayor thanked Coalition forces for their help and guidance in making the new facility a realization and said the project was the first part of a five step strategic plan for Baghdad.
Horine echoed the Mayor’s words, explaining that the opening of the water treatment facility is just a start to many equally important projects soon to be completed, such as an electric substation not far from the Rusafa Water Treatment Facility, which will distribute reliable power to the people of Sadr City.
The mayor assured the audience that the Baghdad government and the GoI are committed to the people.
“The people of Sadr City and their neighbors have suffered from a water deficiency for 10 years. Now they can rest and be secure that they have someone to look after them,” Navet said.