The local government in Anbar province has resumed work on service and industrial projects that were halted after the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) controlled large swathes of Iraq.
Most of the projects were designated for execution in 2014, but have been stalled since then due to the security situation, said Anbar provincial council integrity committee head Fahd al-Rashed.
These projects include "al-Zayout intersection bridge in the centre of Ramadi, the great Ramadi water project, the third bridge in Fallujah, water purification plants, school buildings and government departments", he told Diyaruna.
"The relevant departments have also started to build 40 schools in various districts, including seven model schools, and to create modern designs for all the entrances to cities," he said.
Work is underway to expand the road linking Ramadi and Fallujah to al-Karma district, he added.
"The projects that were halted [in 2014] were the first to restart since the funds for them have been allocated by the relevant ministries," he said, adding that this has helped ease the return of Anbar residents to their cities.
Engineering and technical personnel have begun to rehabilitate the power plants in Ramadi, Fallujah and Heet, Anbar council member Adhal al-Fahdawi told Diyaruna.
Construction work has started on eight power plants, a power carrier and dispensers, which were all designated for execution before 2014, he said.
Government efforts are not limited to resuming work on stalled projects, and include the execution of new projects as the budget allows, al-Fahdawi said, including the rehabilitation of school buildings and government departments, such as the nationality department in Ramadi, Fallujah, al-Qaim, Rawa and Anah.
Implementing vital projects
"Roads and bridges make up the lion’s share of the reconstruction and rebuilding campaign, especially since terrorist operations have destroyed 80 vital bridges," said Mohammed al-Dulaimi, an engineer with the roads and bridges department in Anbar.
A number of bridges have already been rehabilitated, he said, while work is ongoing on the third bridge in Fallujah and the Heet bridge.
"The current period will see the launch of important projects, especially the Nazem al-Warar dam in Ramadi, where a large part of the work has already been completed, in addition to several bridges on the international highway," he said.
"ISIS destroyed most of the infrastructure in Anbar and brought development to a halt," Ramadi resident Abbas Khudeir, 44, told Diyaruna.
"The projects that we were looking forward to seeing executed in recent years, have now been done after the terrorists were eradicated," he said.
"Anbar is expanding, especially Ramadi," he said, urging for the implementation of more vital projects, including the Anbar International Airport, the rehabilitation of the international road and agricultural and industrial projects.
Increased stability and security in Anbar will provide incentive for investment companies to invest in the province, which in turn will serve the people of Anbar, said Rawa resident Zuheir al-Heeti.
"Anbar takes up one third of the area of Iraq and has vast mineral and natural resources, including phosphate, sulphur, natural gas, and vast areas suitable for agriculture and development projects," he told Diyaruna.
"We hope that the local government will invest in [these resources] and revitalise key projects" that will bring Anbar cities back to life, he said.