Western Mosul still lacks drinkable water

Since the liberation of Mosul, life has returned to numerous parts of the city. Cafes and shops have reopened, while civil society initiatives are ongoing to restitch the fabric of society. However, the lack of infrastructure, which was destroyed in large part by the fighting between the Iraqi Security Forces and ISIS militants, remains a key issue.

Among the most prevalent issues is the availability and cleanliness of drinking water. The Nineveh Water Director, Nelson Filip, says that water has been distributed in all directions and the old and new projects for both banks of the city have been resumed.

Despite this, residents say that the water in Mosul is filthy, undrinkable and plagued with diseases. Some even say that the prevalence of water across Mosul is not the case.

“90% of the areas on the Right Bank have no water. We rely on water wells and the wells are full of diseases,” said one resident. “My friend’s children got skin diseases because of the water in the well. We hope they speed up the maintenance of water projects in western Mosul and deliver water to these areas.”

“There is water, most areas have water, but this water is not clean and not suitable for drinking,” said another resident. “The water is filthy, it contains clay, and I have seen kinds of worms which I have never seen before; red worms that fall to the bottom of the tank and don’t move.”

In the battle for western Mosul, which was much fiercer than the battle for eastern Mosul, many homes, roads and buildings were completely destroyed.

Last July, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Lise Grande, noted that 15 of the 54 residential neighbourhoods in western Mosul were heavily damaged, 23 were moderately damaged, and 16 were lightly damaged, indicating the immense scale of destruction in the city’s Right Bank.

However, Grande said that the UN Development Program had started 70 projects in the lightly damaged districts of western Mosul.