By Sgt. Serena HaydenFebruary 7, 2007
BAQUBAH, Iraq (Army News Service, Feb. 7, 2007) - Iraq's provincial government and coalition forces are working earnestly to improve the way of life for the people of Diyala through reconstruction efforts focused on the their needs throughout the the province.
"We have big plans for the people of Diyala," said Ra'ad Hameed Al-Mula Jowad Al-Tanimi, governor of Diyala, during a press conference. "There are lots of projects being worked to improve the health, school and education, electricity, water and housing."
The provincial government continues to identify new projects based on the needs of the residents and is prepared to commit to improve living conditions across the province, said Al-Tanimi.
In addition to the Iraqi government projects, coalition forces are focusing efforts on projects currently underway throughout Diyala totaling more than $213 million.
To date, 20 coalition-led projects have been completed in the province since the start of the Fiscal Year , including five electrical projects by the Iraqi government and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve the reliability of power for the people of Diyala.
"The coalition projects are planned, assessed and executed based on the goal of the Diyala provincial leadership," said Col. David W. Sutherland, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division commander and senior Army officer in Diyala. "They have a better situational awareness of what is needed by their people and we support the efforts of the government, as we do their security forces."
The projects, which began as early as April 2005, include a $31.2 million rehabilitation and expansion of a power substation and five feeders designed to improve reliability of power for over 63,000 residents in the Buhriz and Muqdadiya regions of Diyala.
Of the 141 projects, 38 reconstruction projects will be near completion within the next two months. When the projects are completed, they will provide more reliable water and electricity, improvised irrigation, improved sanitation, heightened security and road improvements.
The provincial government is also working hand-in-hand with the 5th Iraqi Army Division to repair damage caused by indiscriminate terrorist attacks, or from collateral damage resulting from offensive operations.
(Sgt. Serena Hayden serves with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)