The Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities on September 29 rolled out a $77.2 million USD sanitation project in the southern governorate of Ziqar.
“The governorate is suffering from wastewater leakages since the capacity of existing network is far below what is needed,” said Ziqar Deputy Governor Haitham Aziz.
The project involves building an entirely new wastewater pipeline network throughout the governorate, as well as a storm sewer system to end to the floods that fill the streets of cities in the governorate each winter.
Ziqar’s General Directorate for Wastewater will oversee construction of these networks, Aziz said.
Ziqar also recently announced $21.5 million USD worth of water projects, including a potable water pipeline to supply deprived areas. The projects will be completed within two years.
The Iraqi parliament has approved a total budget of $3.4 billion USD for drinking water and sanitation projects in the country in 2013. The funding is considered insufficient, since the country has been facing more water shortages, especially during the summer.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, about 10 percent of the country’s population experienced drinking water shortages in 2012.
Since the toppling of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraqis have been waiting for major development projects to improve the quality of basic services. However, observers say successive governments have failed to implement a solid development plan, despite increased revenue from oil, which constitutes the main source of national income.
Drinking water and sanitation conditions are deteriorating in a number of governorates. Shortages are common, and leaking mains are a constant problem, according to experts.
This story is brought to readers free in association with Singapore International Water Week.