BAGHDAD, June 29 (Reuters) - Iraq will spend $100 million to rebuild the east Baghdad slum of Sadr City and create jobs for many of its two million residents after years of violence and neglect, a government official said on Sunday. The Shi'ite slum is a stronghold of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army, whose fighters clashed with U.S. and government troops there in March and April until a ceasefire halted hostilities. Sadr City was largely outside the government's control until the truce allowed Iraqi soldiers to deploy. "The government has ordered an allocation of $100 million to reconstruct and develop Sadr City," Tahseen al-Sheikhli, civilian spokesman for security operations in Baghdad, told a news conference. He did not give a timeframe for spending the money.
Let's hope this is for real.
For some sense of life inside Sadr City, here's a video from AlJazeeraEnglish:
Risk of cholera multiplied by sewage collapse in Baghdad (Feb 21, 2008):
(iraqi Gov't spokesman Tahseen) Sheikhly told journalists: “If you look at Baghdad through Google Earth, you can see that there is a black spot in southern Baghdad due to the accumulation of the sewage there.”
Ultimately, a large proportion of the city’s sewage ends up in the Tigris River or, worse, finds it way into the city’s water system. Millions of Baghdadis are forced to treat all their water with purification tablets or buy bottled water if they can afford it.