BAGHDAD - Local Iraqi leaders from the Karkh district of northwest Baghdad, along with leaders from the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, and the Baghdad embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team gathered July 26 in the Salhiyah neighborhood to mark the competition of a major sewer network project that will provide sewage services to the area that were not previously available.

The effort to restore essential services in Baghdad has seen a significant increase since the improvement of security throughout the Iraqi capital and for the people of Karkh, projects like the sewage plant are just what the neighborhood ordered.

"I was pleased to see this sewage project in our area," said Mr. Mobarak, Salhiyah neighborhood council chairman. "We have not seen a project like this occur in our area in over 15 years."

The project was one of many started and seen through to completion by members of the Joint Project Management Office of the Dagger Brigade, but the project also held a special place due to the benefit it could provide the citizens.

"The people of Salhiyah will have a new sewer network that will last for decades," said Maj. Andy Attar, a native of Bristol, Conn., Officer in Charge, JPMO, 2HBCT. "It's a great sign of Iraq moving forward."

Following a small ceremony to commemorate completion of the project the contractor in charge of the project provided a luncheon for the leaders in attendance.

The luncheon was a chance for the leaders to discuss the importance of the project as well as reflect on their choice of who should be responsible for the construction of the sewage plant.

"I was very happy to see this event turn out so successfully," said Mr. Jamal, Karkh Beladiyah Director General. "I was happy about the choice of the contractor because I knew he would follow up on his work."

Another positive sign for the project was the start to finish involvement by the local government in the effort that shows Iraqis are ready to take and keep the lead on future reconstruction efforts.

"This sewer network was designed by Baghdad City planners," said Attar. "The work was supervised by their engineers daily with the Dagger Brigade in overwatch."