From Chad Bouchard for 100Reporters, the tragic story of millions of dollars from the U. S. State Department squandered on misguided attempts to bring clean drinking water to rural residents of Iraq. The project in the Sinjar district, in northwestern Iraq, was undermined in part by a history of government corruption in the region, corruption that has fueled anger and aided Islamic State recruitment. Since Bouchard’s visit there, the Islamic State attacked Sinjar and now controls the area.
The Iraqis accuse Americans in charge of reconstruction projects with refusing to listen to local geologists familiar with water and soil conditions, preferring to do things their own way.
The projects, marked by cracked pipelines, stolen parts, and shoddy materials, have been largely abandoned. Residents have to pay out of their own pockets to provide basic water services their government and American dollars have not provided.
Photo credit: Sami Hilali