After months of rehabilitation efforts, the main cement factory in Hammam al-Alil has reopened, just as the rest of the city comes back to life. The opening of the cement factory has created hundreds of new jobs for the residents of Hammam al-Alil and has boosted reconstruction efforts in the town. It is the first major factory in the liberated areas of Nineveh to function again, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Industry.
Demand for cement is likely to soar especially in the liberated areas as the government begins to rebuild the areas that have been devastated by conflict in Nineveh, Salahuddin and Anbar. The Ministry of Industry says that they plan to produce 750-800 tons of cement a day.
However, there are still many obstacles preventing the Hammam al-Alil factory from reaching its maximum capacity level. Workers say that frequent power outages disrupt production. Additionally, the factory suffers from a lack of fuel, which is used to power the factory. Workers have also complained that wages are still too low.
The industrial sector in Hammam al-Alil, along with the entire province of Nineveh, has been hit hard by years of war and terrorism. ISIS occupied and used many of these factories to produce weapons and car bombs in order to bolster their military campaigns, whilst completely neglecting construction projects as well as the local economy. As a result, a huge amount of investment is needed in order to restore the industrial sector in the liberated areas and overcome the challenges that thwart this restoration.
Hammam al-Alil is one of the largest towns in Ninveh after Mosul, and is home to thousands of internally displaced people from the across the province. The cement factory is a focal point for the town’s local economy, as it is one of the largest in the country. The reopening of the factory will go a long way to reviving the town’s faltering economy.