By Staff Sgt. Christopher Jelle, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf Div Public AffairsJune 17, 2010
MUTHANNA PROVINCE, Iraq -- Iraqi and U.S. Forces recently completed three construction projects in the Muthanna Province designed to improve everyday life for local residents.
The three projects included six new electrical power transformers, a pedestrian bridge, and a school with a fully-functional sanitation system.
Rebuilding structures in communities that have been damaged by years of conflict is only a part of the picture. U.S. forces have worked with Provincial Reconstruction Teams to improve the stability of the provincial government by helping them address some glaring needs of their communities.
U.S. Forces and the provincial governments have constantly been building new structures improving services that will bring a positive change to the people of Iraq, said Maj. Scott Vance, civil affairs officer for 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
The new transformers will extend electrical power to more than100,000 people throughout the town of Rumaitha. The goal, Vance said, is that by providing regular electrical service to businesses and schools, it will enhance the standards of living and education.
Working with the Ministry of Transportation, U.S. forces and the Government of Iraq constructed a new bridge for pedestrians in downtown Rumaitha. The new bridge runs alongside the main bridge that was used by both pedestrians and vehicles. The dimly lit bridge posed a hazard during busy traffic and at night. With the new foot bridge in place, people can safely cross the river.
Large communities aren't the only ones seeing help in the reconstruction effort. Smaller communities are seeing major improvements in their areas as well, Vance said.
U.S. Forces helped in the construction of a new school for the small village of Sayyed Allaq, northwest of Rumaitha. According to local officials, there is approximately a 37 percent literacy rate in the village, and children below the age of eight weren't able to attend school due to the lack of adequate facilities. Children 9-years-old and older had to walk up to three miles to the nearest classroom before the completion of the new school last month, Vance said.
The revamped school includes administrative offices, storage facilities, and a sanitation system. This new educational building offers the citizens of Sayyed Allaq more adequate resources to educate their children.
"The project has not only resolved these problems for the village of Al Sayyed, but it will also improve the literacy rate in the province and improve the overall economic growth of the area," he said.