Residents in the Old City of Mosul are using their skills to rebuild their homes in their neighbourhoods. Abu the-Noun, a resident of the Old City, rebuilt his home and painted the exterior violet to signal the return of life to the city of Mosul.
One year after their liberation from ISIS rule, Moslawi citizens have taken it upon themselves to build their homes and revive their city. According to UN and Iraqi Government estimates, the reconstruction of Mosul will take at least a decade and will cost billions of dollars. Citizens complain that the government has not done enough work to rehabilitate essential services in the area.
“The people of this area have suffered a lot and are unable to build their homes. We call upon the government to rebuild this area,” said Qahtan Ahmed a resident of the Old City of Mosul.
Due to the poor economic conditions that many Moslawis are faced with, citizens are unable to effectively contribute to efforts to rebuild their homes. However, some citizens have taken it upon themselves, despite the poverty, to rebuild their homes in a message to the world that: Mosul is still alive.
Amongst these citizens is Younis Rajab, also known as Abu Thel-noon, a Moslawi man who repaired his home and painted it violent, signaling the return of life, and colour to Mosul.
“I returned to my home to revive the area. I hope that everyone will return to their homes,” said Younis.
Many citizens throughout Mosul have taken similar steps to rehabilitate and revive their areas economically and visually. However, one of the most challenging tasks for residents is the delay in the government’s efforts to remove of the bodies of dead ISIS militants from beneath the rubble of destroyed homes. For over a year now, these bodies have been decomposing, resulting in the spread of diseases and foul smells throughout the city.
“The bodies have decomposed, and dogs and cats are eating them,” says a resident.
Even though many initiatives have been carried out by international and local organisations to clean the city from dead bodies, the city of Mosul requires further efforts.
Recently, the Committee for the Reconstruction of War-Affected Area in Nineveh Province has announced that the UN Development Programme has begun collecting citizens’ reports about the damages done to their homes in the Old City. Once these reports are processed, the UNDP along with responsible authorities will release funds which will be used to rehabilitate the homes.