News | May 22, 2008

Iraqi government improving Wasit

By Sgt. Daniel T. West , 214th Fires Brigade

FOB DELTA, Iraq – The government of Iraq is undertaking a number of projects in Wasit province to improve quality of life and provide jobs for citizens.

Two of the projects focus on the Zuwarijat District of al-Kut.

Though once a militia stronghold considered dangerous for coalition forces, the district improved dramatically after Iraqi security forces established their presence. The ISF established security stations in Zuwarijat for the first time in an Iraqi-planned and led operation, April 29.

With the return of security, GoI can now focus on improving the quality of life for residents, said Maj. Gen. Hannin al-Ameer, provincial director of police in a town hall meeting in al-Kut, May 21.

The first projects the GoI will undertake include reopening a local clinic and restoring schools, al-Ameer said. However, he cautioned, the projects depend on maintained security.

In addition to improvements in Zuwarijat, the GoI has begun work to bring a $6 million indoor fish and meat market to the town of al-Kut.

The market is part of a large-scale development project funded by a combination of Iraqi and coalition funds that will include a vegetable and produce market and a meat processing plant, said Roberto Bran, provincial program manager for the Wasit Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Local government will gain experience by managing the market and economics of the area, while the economy will benefit from an increase in local business, Bran said.

Through this, Bran said, civil leaders can learn to cooperate and take their destiny into their own hands, promoting security in order to further their growth plans.

In addition, businesses will increase security by providing jobs and opportunities to people who would have none otherwise, he said.