Mosul traders start reconstruction campaign away from government support

2017/04/29 (00:01 PM) - Number of readings: 68 - Issue (3910)

Translation: Range

Local businessmen in Mosul have flattened their arms and started to restore life to their city. Some have begun to rebuild destroyed buildings in the city without waiting for financial support from the Iraqi government, which is suffering from a financial deficit or waiting for a final defeat in the city.

"Waiting for support takes a long time," said Rafie Ghanem, who owns a car parts shop in a two-story building in eastern Mosul, where one of the air strikes turned his rented building and scores of other shops into a pile of rubble and iron bars.

In January, with the support of the United States, Iraqi forces managed to recover the eastern side of the city after 100 days of fighting, fighting now in the West Side neighborhoods.

Ghanem added that he agreed with 25 owners of the rented premises in the building to contribute to the financing to help the owner of the building to lift the rubble and rebuild a floor. Reconstruction began on April 11 and Ghanem hopes to return to work within 3 or 4 months.

He says the wait is futile as building materials prices are expected to rise as reconstruction projects begin to increase demand for iron and cement.

The city of Mosul, seized by a mosque in 2014, suffered major damage as hundreds of homes and public buildings including the airport, railway station and university were destroyed. Since the defeat of Dahesh in eastern Mosul, cement and steel prices have fallen sharply as roads linking the city to the rest of Iraq and Turkey have been reopened, allowing supplies to be resumed.

The importer, Saif Ibrahim, said that the cubic ton of cement was sold at 350 thousand dinars (300 dollars) after the gunmen took over the city about three years ago, but now the price dropped to 80 - 90 thousand dinars. Ghanem and his ilk in Mosul have no choice but to rebuild the city. "We live in this city and we have to rebuild it," he says.