Reconstruction efforts continue in the former ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria as engineers come together to restore the city's infrastructure.
Liberated from ISIS by the Syrian Democratic Forces in October 2017, the citizens of Raqqa have hopes to rebuild their city.
ISIS considered the city of Raqqa as its capital in Syria, and as a result, held tightly to it when the liberation operations were ongoing. As a result, the intensive battles to force them out of the city caused 95% of the structures, and 65% of the homes to be damaged. Despite many pledges to help rebuild Raqqa, international aid was never delivered to the city due to the conflicting political agendas.
As a result, when civilians returned to their city, many began undertaking the rebuilding of their homes as a personal effort, resulting in arbitrary construction around the city.
This led many engineers in the city of Raqqa to meet and establish a centre for engineers seeking to rebuild the city.
The organisers of the engineering centre aim to assess the buildings in Raqqa for safety and the possibility of their rehabilitation, in addition to providing studies and plans to rebuild the city.
“Through this room, we will help the people organise the city and create plans for the city including architectural, civil, construction, electrical and mechanical plans,” said Nadhmi Mohammed, the secretary treasurer of the centre. “The people in this room are from the city of Raqqa and their goal is to serve the citizens of the city.”
In coordination with the Raqqa Civil Council, the engineers began issuing reports on structural safety, documenting the destruction that their city has faced during the liberation operations, and preventing arbitrary construction by civilians.
These reconstruction initiatives have begun after engineers in the Raqqa Civil Council assembled themselves, earlier this year, to remove mines that remained in the city after ISIS was forced out of the city.
After 8 years of conflict, engineers throughout Syria have initiated reconstruction efforts and projects to try and return normalcy to their country.
“Our main goal is to serve the city,” said Mohammed.