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Press Update
December 2002

Report from Iraq

by Tom Sager

December 15, 2002

I've seen our 6 plants, all look in good shape. There are some minor problems here and there but nothing serious. I've also seen the 2 Qurna plants, and Shaqiraq in Diyala, the small one we are considering. I've one more on my list to see - the one in Nineveh Province near Mosul, which I will visit tomorrow.

Chorine and Aluminum Sulfate Coagulant are in adequate supply at all plants. Labanni and the two Hamden plants [1][2] now receive relatively high quality input water piped in from Naseria Governorate so don't have to deal with the mucky Shatt Al-Arab water any more.

The two new plants are both online, and seem to be working well. Al-Risalah has priority electricity, 24 hours a day. Mansouriat has only 3 hrs a day of electricity but the good folks of Hibhib have bought an old generator that was chugging along just fine when we visited. They said it was not the best, but did the job, at least for now.

Labanni seems to have received priority treatment. They have a huge generator. The engineer said everything was in good order. Either the problems got fixed, or were non-existent in the first place. I'll probably never find out. The two Hamden Plants were fine. Some minor problems which they are waiting for the ministry to fix, but nothing serious. They get about 18 hours of electricity daily - constant voltage.

The three new plants we visited are all in terrible shape. Barely functional at even a minimal level. Need rebuilding bad. Suspect the fourth that I will see tomorrow will be similar. I've been given wonderful treatment here. I think the Iraqis are very appreciative of this project, and we need to keep it going. Please consider making a donation now.

As far as war goes, people here seem to be carrying on as usual. After all they have lived under war conditions for 13 years. The reaction I get to the Bush threats are simply unbelievable. What do the Americans want of us?, they ask me. We give them access to everything. They find nothing, and still they want to make war on us.


December 17, 2002

Saw the Nineveh plant with Adil, Its a big sucker. Now I know why it was so expensive. Pumps water out of the Tigris and through 70 kilometers of pipe to Hatra, the ancient city of the Roman era, although Rome didn't get this far. Serves about 22,000 people in a number of villages around the old Hatra including the new Hatra. Its about 100 kilometers south of Mosul. I fell in love with it. I want to do this one next!

Well this is my 4th trip here, so maybe its time I did a little traveling around, talking and trying to raise some cash. We really need to keep this project going. I can't tell you what a wonderful reception I've had here. If nothing else, this project lets people know that are people in the US who care about them, and that's very important!