Moslawi citizens living in camps along Iraq's northern provinces call upon the Iraqi Government and International Organisations to place further efforts on rebuilding Mosul after it was liberated from ISIS almost one year ago.
Residents from Mosul in northern Iraq have called for greater efforts in helping them rebuild their homes and city. Despite being liberated from the so-called Islamic State over a year ago, large parts of Mosul – especially in the western half of the city – remain in ruin, with rubble and wreckage left occupying the streets.
Those displaced from Mosul reside in camps dotted across northern areas of the country. One of these camps is the Baharka Camp, which is located in Erbil Province in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and houses about 6,600 displaced people. “For four years we have been in Erbil. We live in the Baharka Camp, and we no longer have a house in Mosul to return to. The house was destroyed by ISIS militants, and we have been living here,” said Um Ahmed, a displaced woman from Mosul. “We don’t have a house to return to in Mosul.”
Since the liberation, most efforts to rebuild the city have been made by international organisations, locals and volunteers. Some of these initiatives include UNESCO and UAE efforts to rebuild the Nouri Mosque and the Hadbaa Minaret. Local efforts included the reconstruction of a thousand homes in Old City of Mosul to aid in the return of the displaced peoples. Some organisations and groups have taken it upon themselves to clean up debris and war remnants from the roads of Mosul. While these efforts remain positive, further initiatives are needed to return the city to its former stature. Citizens have called upon the Iraqi Government to rebuild their areas for them so that they may return to Mosul. “Those who returned to their areas are suffering because their homes are demolished, the living conditions are difficult, and there is no work,” said Ahmed Mohammed, a displaced man living in the Baharka camp. “There is support, but it’s not enough.”
The administrations of the displacement camps say that they will continue providing services to the displaced people until their homes are rebuilt, and they can safely return to their homes. “We hope they would return to their areas and live normal lives, the harsh living conditions, lack of employment [opportunities] and other issues have hampered their return to their areas,” said Badradeen Najmadeen, the director of the Baharka camp.
Despite the slow pace in rebuilding the city, many Moslawis remain hopeful that their city and their lives will become normal again.