The Old City of Mosul suffered tremendous damage during the conflict between ISIS militants and the Iraqi forces. The Old City is located in the centre of Mosul on the western side of the city. It represented ISIS’ main base in Mosul and the whole of Iraq, as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, had proclaimed the establishment of his alleged “Islamic State” and proclaimed Mosul as its capital from the podium of the Grand Nuri Mosque inside the Old City.
Volunteers in the city have now launched an extensive campaign to clear out the debris that has been left behind as a result of the battles that took place in the Old City during the final phase of the Battle of Mosul.
The volunteers have themselves rented equipment including bulldozers, pickup trucks, cranes and excavators to implement the campaign. The first phase of the campaign began with the Nuri Mosque and expanded their activities from there. Clearing up debris is the primary aim for the volunteers at this moment. They will focus on rehabilitating water, electricity and sewage systems in the later phases.
Those participating in the campaign have felt the need to take action themselves as there are few signs that the central government of Iraq will have the economic and financial power to fund such reconstruction and rehabilitation projects on a large scale. Campaigners are also calling on international organisations to be active in the region as civilians have few means of rebuilding their homes and streets.
The damage done to the Old City of Mosul has been well-documented and clear-up work began immediately after the full liberation of the city. Nevertheless, civilians have been largely left to their own devices in bringing life back to the city of Mosul in terms of infrastructure and educational and health facilities.