The streets and shops of post-ISIS Mosul are coming back to life and the Moslawi people return to their city and begin the gruelling task of reconstruction. The local municipalities have been working hard to clear the rubble and detritus of fighting off the streets. Meanwhile, the efforts of the Iraqi Security Forces have, for most part, paid off in rendering the liberated districts secure of militants and IEDs.
Many of the shopkeepers in Mosul retain a sense of optimism regarding the prospects of reconstruction. However, even the most optimistic Moslawi can’t deny that a slew of challenges stand in the way of reconstruction. Utilities are one such source of challenge.
Shopkeepers in the Dawasa District, for instance, say that even though security measures around Mosul have been exemplary, the provision of utilities have lagged behind. Electricity shortages continue, forcing citizens to rely on private generators generators. Sanitation and cleanup is limited to main roads, leaving many of the side roads still clogged with debris and trash. Water, however, remains the most acute source of concern. Residents of the city say that there is no organised way to collect, store and distribute water and this has slowed down the pace of reconstruction. The shopkeepers who returned to their shops and reopened them say that many of their friends and colleagues are holding off the idea of returning to the city until water services have been restored.
The incremental reconstruction made by the individual residents and shopkeepers of Mosul paint a positive picture for the future of Mosul. However, an organised effort by the government will be be needed to ensure that larger utility and reconstruction projects will need to be undertaken. Such undertaking is expected to take about $50 Million for Mosul alone, with other cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi also in dire need of reconstruction.