Following a visit by the Governor of Nineveh to the Old City of Mosul, homes have been renovated thanks to the efforts of local volunteers.
Three years of ISIS occupation, including 9 months of brutal fighting in the city of Mosul left large parts of the city in ruins. Since the liberation of Mosul, more than a year ago, reconstruction efforts on the part of the federal and local government and authorities have been slow. Many displaced people living in the rural regions of Nineveh, refuse to return to their city because of the destruction.
Public services remain in a state of disarray due to the ruined infrastructure, with electricity and water only being provided sporadically. Most damagingly, people displaced from Mosul have no home in the city. The war destroyed large swathes of residential areas in the city, particularly in western Mosul. This is one of the main reason why thousands of people have been unable to return to the city.
The Old City of Mosul was the scene of some of the most intense fighting during the battle to liberate Mosul. ISIS militants used residents as human shields and evicted many residents from their homes to use as military bases to conduct attacks. Many homes were also booby trapped by the militants. By the end of the war, there was barely a street in western Mosul that wasn’t littered with explosive devices.
According to reports, almost 70% of houses in the Old City of Mosul were either partially or completely destroyed during the fighting. As a result of this, locals in the Old City have taken it upon themselves to build and rehabilitate 16 homes in their neighbourhood. Although it is a small project given the scale of the destruction in Mosul, it is an example of the determination and resilience of ordinary people in Mosul who want to rebuild their city and community and move forward towards a brighter future.
The initiative was set up by residents part of the Cooperative Union in the Nineveh Province. Their efforts have been praised by people in the Old City, such as this man:
“The efforts of the good people from the Cooperative Union in Nineveh Province have brought hope back to the families and we call on our brothers and sisters to follow their example in order to bring life back to this region, which was targeted by the abusers. We will prove to them that the people of Nineveh are coming out of the darkness and back into the light.”