Iraqi Infrastructure

Lords Written Questions
Baroness Northover: What action they have taken following the reports by the Baghdad security plan on the operability of Baghdads sewage plants.
Baroness Crawley: We are unaware of any official reports having been made on the operability of Baghdad’s sewage plants as a result of the Baghdad security plan. However, we are aware that a spokesman for the Government of Iraq has stated that, as at 3 February this year, none of the city’s three sewage plants was operating at capacity. These problems were directly attributed to the neglect with which Saddam Hussein’s regime treated the maintenance of Iraq’s infrastructure.
The Joint Reconstruction Operation Centre, responsible for co-ordinating and synchronising reconstruction efforts in Baghdad, announced on 2 March that in the past year 80 per cent of the city’s water distribution system and 60 per cent of the sewerage system had undergone reconstruction, as a result of co-operation between the Government of Iraq and coalition forces. Work is also continuing on extending the capacity of these systems. The US Army Corps of
Engineers reports that a $2.3 million upgrade to sewer lines and water pumping stations in one of Baghdad’s suburbs, which will help prevent health hazards to more than 115,000 area residents, is due to be completed in June, and that it is undertaking many other projects to improve Baghdad’s infrastructure.
The UK Government are not currently involved in any work to improve
Baghdad’s sewage system. However, by May of this year the Department for International Development will have improved access to water for more than 1 million people in southern Iraq, by: undertaking infrastructure repair projects; providing training facilities for Iraqi engineers; and by providing technical advice for a major sewage installation in al-Amarah, replacing open sewage channels and providing up to half of the city’s population with access to a piped
sewage system.
19 May 2008 : Column WA167