Saturday, 26 May 2012 10:53 .camp liberty-No.33
Hundred days after the start of the transfer of residents from Ashraf to Liberty and while 2,000 of the residents have moved to Camp Liberty, the infrastructure , specially water, electricity and sewage system not only have not improved,
but has become more disastrous on daily basis due to extreme restrictions imposed by the Government of Iraq, the increase in the population of the Camp ,and warming of the weather.
The Government of Iraq by breaching all of its international obligations and by violating the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that it signed with the UN Representative, is continuing its repression, imposing more pressures and restrictions on Camp Liberty residents.
1. The water system in each block in Camp Liberty is a closed system and the water is supplied by means of water tankers. Each block has only three small pumps ( with a total of 90 pumps for the whole camp), which are installed in the water station. The pumps are old and worn out and a portion of the pumps become dysfunctional every day, or their capability to provide water decreases, or their one way faucet becomes dysfunctional and as such the pressure of the water does not increase. Many of the pumps are on the verge being burnt due to over working. Most of the control boards of the pumps have problems and serious deficiencies. Six of the blocks in camp Liberty have only one pump and if that pump stops functioning, the water circulation in that block will stop completely.
2. The sewage system in every block is also a closed circuit that has to be emptied with special tankers. These discharge pumps of the sewage system are mostly worn out and the submersible pumps stop working a good portion of time, causing leakage of sewage and polluting the environment.
3. Due to decadence of sewage tanks and their connections, there is leakage of sewage in the camp constantly. The residents try to repair the leakage with rudimentary equipments that that they have in their possession but this is a temporary remedy and they start leaking again after a few days, causing pollution of the environment. The residents have replaced a number of the tanks with the ones that have been transferred from Ashraf, but since the Iraqi government does not allow more tanks to be transferred from Ashraf, Camp Liberty is in danger of being seriously polluted.
4. Water and sewage pipes have broken down seven times in different blocks over the past month. The residents have repaired them with tremendous expenditure and devoting serious energy, using elementary tools like spades for digging and repairing the broken pipes. Whilst such a repair in Ashraf could have been done in a couple of hours, this consumed two to three days at Liberty due to lack of equipments such as excavators.
5. Providing water by using water tankers is one of the biggest problems for the camp. The transfer of one tanker from un-sanitized facility, 12 Kilometres away using the tankers of the residents or the ones that belong to the contractors, takes five hours ( photos are attached). hence the residents at temperatures of 40-45 degrees centigrade, are facing water shortage. In view of sandstorms and lack of green space and the fact that the doors of the residential quarters open into open space, the residents have to deal with a significant amount of dust constantly. This causes a greater need for water and on most occasion there is not enough water for even those who have to do heavy work to take shower.
6. Each block in Liberty has two generators. The electric board of many of these generators have been stolen. Five of the generators are completely out of order and one of them needs heavy engine repairs. The others are worn out and since they have been operating for more than 15000 hours without proper maintenance, their engine makes a lot of smoke , and consume an extra 30 percent fuel. This increase the temperature of the engine and limits its efficiency to only 40 percent. The generators are of the type standby, which are not designed for 24 hours usage and hence they have to have at least two spare generators
The problems of water, electricity and sewage have been raised in scores of meetings with representatives of the Government of Iraq, UNAMI, UNHCR, without any results and no action has been taken to solve the problem.
The Iranian Resistance while warning about the implications of the critical situation of water, electricity and sewage at Liberty, urges intervention of United Nations Secretary-General, US Secretary of State, EU High Representative and to reprimand Maliki’s government for violation of humanitarian laws and standards. The Iranian Resistance reiterates that if this critical situation continues, as the residents of Liberty have announced, the only remaining solution would be their return to Ashraf.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
May 25, 2012