L. Paul Bremer, III
Coalition Provisional Authority
Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works
5 April 2004
The Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works touches the lives of more
Iraqis than perhaps any other part of the Iraqi government. As the employees of
this Ministry know, modern urban life cannot long be
sustained without clean water, and the cleanliness and public health benefits
provided by sewage treatment and waste collection— are fundamental to civilized
The daily health and comfort of millions depend on the efforts of some 40,000
Iraqis who work not only here in your new headquarters, but in some 500
locations all over the country.
You have worked with local councils and Coalition partners to designate
priorities for a further 82 major projects. When these projects are completed,
fully 75 percent of the Iraqi population will have running water—a higher
percentage than at any time in Iraq’s history.
Madame Minister, you and your colleagues have done a wonderful job of
coordinating your projects with local groups. This collaboration between Baghdad
and local governments, so rare under Saddam, stands as a model to be emulated
across all government ministries.
From the moment you assumed your duties you formed a smoothly operating team
with Senior Advisor Michael Mutter and set about the business of making your
ministry serve the Iraqi people.
Together you have inaugurated a comprehensive management structure for your
ministry to work with USAID, DFID and other international partners. You have
established programs to:
• rehabilitate 14 water treatment plants and replaced 22 kilometers of leaking
pipes in Basrah.
• replace some 200 kilometers of local water distribution networks around the
• rehabilitate sewage treatment plants in Najaf and Hillah.
We in the Coalition are doing our part to help. In the months ahead the United
States will spend over $3,600 million on potable water, water conservation,
sewerage and solid waste management.
All this is occurring as Iraq’s people move toward sovereignty on June 30. As
the Transitional Administrative Law specifies, June 30 starts an 18-month clock
ticking, a clock which will bring Iraq four elections, a constitution and a
directly elected national government before the end of 2005.
And so today it is a particular honor to participate in the opening of this
building and the transfer of full authority to this ministry.
Minster Bawari, I congratulate you—not just for the work you and your
colleagues have already done, but for the contributions you will continue to
make in improving the lives of your fellow citizens all over this Land between
the Two Rivers.
Day after day, Iraq’s future of hope moves toward becoming a reality.
Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed.