An Iraqi man drinks fresh water from an artesian well that was installed at the al-Hamza School in Bayjia, Iraq. The well was built using Commander’s Emergency Relief Program funds provided by the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
FOB KALSU, Iraq (April 16, 2008) — Before an artesian well opened for use April 10, residents of Zambraniya and Bayjia were forced to drink directly from the Tigris River or travel up to 10 kilometers for drinking water.
The new well, located at the al-Hamza School in Bayjia, is capable of producing 6000 gallons of fresh water per day and will service both communities.
The well has a water-purification process with the capability to purify 1000 liters of water each hour. The fresh water will improve the standard of living and public health.
“It will help decrease disease and improve the overall health of the people in Zambraniya and Bayjia,” said Capt. John Whitehead, from Holland, Ohio, assistant operations officer for 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
Commander’s Emergency Relief Program funds paid for construction of the well, which draws water from the Tigris River. The project also enabled a local contractor to employ 10 area citizens for the 30 days it was being built. First Lt. Ismail Khan, fire support officer for Company A, 1-30th Inf. Regt., said the well is a step towards normalcy in the area.
“Having this well at the al-Hamza School is great for the health and morale of the local people,” the Houston native said. “They are seeing improvements being made and they are really gaining a sense of pride and togetherness within their community.”