A recent initiative launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is set to rehabilitate between 12000-15000 homes in 29 neighbourhoods in the Old City of Mosul.
The United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a new project in the Old City of Mosul, which attempts to rebuild 12,000-15,000 destroyed homes across 29 different neighbourhoods. The city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was liberated from ISIS’ control in July 2017, after a nine-month operation conducted by the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Popular Mobilisation Unites (PMU), Kurdish Peshmerga, and the International Coalition.
However, the liberation also destroyed infrastructure and thousands of homes due to ISIS’ use of IEDs and mines to deter the advancing forces. This forced thousands of citizens to leave their homes and seek refuge in displacement camps across Iraq. However, since the liberation operations ended, many initiatives including the recent UNDP project have been undertaken to rebuild homes.
“This house was almost destroyed and unfit for living. It must be rehabilitated, these two rooms must be demolished and rebuilt because of the shelling,” said Mohammed Ahmed, the cousin of a man whose house was destroyed in Mosul. “This house needs reconstruction.”
While the UNDP budget, which is estimated to be around $35 million, aims to partially rehabilitate the homes, they say that citizens could return to their homes after the reconstruction process.
“We will not be able to build all the floors in your home, but we will be able to renovate one or two or three bedrooms,” said Hugo de Vries, the stabilisation specialist in UNDP Iraq. “We always provide water, sewage, and electricity to ensure that the family can return safely and with dignity.“
According to de Vries, the rehabilitation programme gives priority to those who have returned to their homes. Furthermore, the UNDP takes into account the houses’ architectural integrity in an attempt to keep the city’s heritage alive, as this has been a cause for concern for the citizens who say that some efforts to reconstruct the city has ignored the cultural heritage.
While this project is just a step towards the rehabilitation of Mosul, the residents who have had their homes rebuilt have expressed their delight that they can finally live in their city comfortably.