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VIII. Provide Water Supply, Sewage and Municipal Services

Create Organization; Restore services to pre-war levels; Municipal Services;

Saddam’s Legacy

As a sad legacy of the previous regime related to water resources and sanitation, about 40% of the population of Iraq lacks access to safe, clean water. There are only 9 sewage treatment plants in 8 out of the 15 southern governorates (excluding the 3 northern governorates). Mosul, the second largest city after Baghdad, does not have any sewerage systems, and discharges its sewage untreated into the Tigris River. Even where sewer lines exist, broken lines and components are a major health hazard throughout the country. There is standing sewage in hundreds of municipalities, often in or next to schools, clinics, or public food markets. There are about 250 cities in Iraq, and only 6% of the population is covered by treatment plants; the rest of the population depends on individual septic tanks and other means of disposal, which are often highly unsanitary. There is virtually no sewerage in rural areas, where about 30% of the population lives. Lack of maintenance has rendered the few sewerage systems ineffective.

In cities with septic tanks, there are major problems with rising water levels, so that the urban population is diverting wastewater into streets through storm water drains, which then flow directly into rivers without treatment. Lack of treatment has serious environmental consequences for the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

As with water supply, there has been considerable damage to the few existing sewage treatment plants caused by poor maintenance, power outages, and looting of equipment during and just after the war. Most sewage repair vehicles were damaged or destroyed by looting after the war.

Solid waste management throughout Iraq is inadequate with unique urgent needs for the city of Baghdad. An estimated 1.5 million cubic meters of rubble is currently piled throughout the city, blocking streets, creating a safety hazard and hindering reconstruction efforts. An additional 1.5 million cubic meters is in buildings that are no longer structurally sound and will need to be torn down.

CPA partners are undertaking activities to:

· Improve water quality and reduce illness and mortality rates, especially for children, by restoring service to prewar levels

· Increase the sewerage service in cities and support reliable human waste collection and treatment

· Create municipal services and water supplies organization

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