Moslawi youth launch an initiative funded by locals and private donors to reconstruct 1,000 homes in the old city of Mosul.
According to UN estimates, approximately 32,000 buildings were damaged in Mosul due to the battles to liberate the city from ISIS. This resulted in thousands of Moslawis fleeing their homes leaving their areas devastated and uninhabited.
The neighbourhoods in Old Mosul specifically have been severely affected as ISIS militants used its narrow and confined alleyways to hide from the advancing Iraqi Security Forces and the International Coalition’s airstrikes. The use of suicide bombings by ISIS militants during the last days of the battle destroyed more infrastructure and risked thousands of civilians’ lives. When the battle for Mosul officially ended in July 2017, it had left the city in ruins.
In an initiative to bring back life to the city and return its inhabitants, volunteers from Mosul have organised an independent campaign which seeks to reconstruct 1000 homes in Old Mosul.
This campaign began with the rebuilding of 25 homes in the Bab Lakash neighbourhood in the old city.
The organisers of the initiative stressed that it is not affiliated with any political campaign or candidates, and that it was only possible due to contributions from private donors and residents of the city.
Despite the limited resources and aid that they can provide, the citizens of Mosul have welcomed such initiatives and programs in their city. Moslawis have complained that the Iraqi Government has not followed through with reconstruction plans and that their programs have been slow, leaving many relying on individual efforts to rebuild their own homes and city.
“The reconstruction movement is low, but this is what they can offer,” said ’Um Mariam, a Moslawi woman whose home was destroyed in the battle. “We ask the government to expedite the compensation”.
Thousands like Um Mariam have been waiting for the government to rebuild the city, which the government estimates will cost $30 billion for Mosul alone.
While the Iraq Rebuilding Conference held in Kuwait last February raised about $30 billion in pledged investments and loans, the Iraqi Government estimates reconstruction will cost about $100 billion and will take up to 10 years.