Plan to rebuild Mosul Old City under review

By Alaa Hussain in Baghdad


This picture, taken August 10th, shows the damaged site of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul's Old City  and the base of its al-Hadba minaret. [Safin Hamed/AFP]

The Iraqi government is considering a new plan for the reconstruction of Mosul's Old City, which was heavily damaged during the battle to oust the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) in 2017.

Officials say the plan would be funded via a programme supported by the federal budget, donor countries and organisations supporting reconstruction in Iraq.

The "Old City Project" was drawn up after extensive studies and consultations with the Iraqi government, Mosul municipality director Radwan al-Shahwani told Diyaruna.

It has now been submitted to the Iraqi cabinet for formal approval, he said.

Once it has been approved, he said, the first step will be to organise and execute a wide-scale campaign to remove all the remaining rubble from the Old City, under the direct supervision of the Ninawa local government.

The second phase will include drawing up a blueprint for the reconstruction of the Old City that will help guide the restoration of services.

For this, Ninawa has obtained the approval of the Ministry of Construction and Housing, which is in charge of developing the basic designs for cities, he said.

The work will be implemented in co-ordination with the Directorate of Urban Planning, al-Shahwani added.

These steps are two of the most important stages of the reconstruction project, which will then proceed based on special priorities and according to timetables to be determined later, he said.

Creating local jobs

All visions and proposals related to the project that were presented by the local government in Mosul have been submitted to the cabinet and are currently under review, Deputy Minister of Migration Jassim al-Attiyah told Diyaruna.

Al-Attiyah, who visited Mosul on September 8th to discuss the proposal, said the government will later allocate a special budget for the project’s implementation and appoint a local administration to supervise and carry out the work.

Such projects should make use of local labour, said Shifa Taha, who heads the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) in Mosul.

This would provide city residents with "a social benefit" in addition to the economic benefits derived from the reconstruction, he told Diyaruna.

He requested that the Ninawa local government involve the GFTU in any new reconstruction projects implemented in the province.

Iraqi labour law requires foreign companies operating in the country to employ local labour, he added, noting that they must account for no less than 52% of the workforce on every project.

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