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Cablegate: Chalabi's Provision of Services Committee - February 5

VZCZCXRO4441
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0398 0420736
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110736Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5673
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000398

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL IZ REL UK
SUBJECT: Chalabi's Provision of Services Committee - February 5

1. SUMMARY: ITAO Director and CFO met with Dr. Chalabi in advance of
the Provision of Services Committee meeting to provide an overview
of USG reconstruction funding. Immediately afterwards, the committee
meeting commenced and members discussed water in Ghazaliya and
Nahrawan, the Karkh water treatment plant and the Amanat's Cleaning
Day. GRD and ITAO presented an update on the Husseiniya treatment
plant and the JPC Chairman discussed recent changes to the JPC. END
SUMMARY.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ITAO Provides an Overview of Reconstruction Funding
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. ITAO Director and CFO met with Dr. Chalabi in a private session
to provide an overview of US reconstruction funding. They discussed
Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Funds (IRRF), Economic Support Funds
(ESF) and the Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP). Dr.
Chalabi was most interested in remaining funds. He discussed the
need for a housing initiative, the rehabilitation of an electric
station in Youssifiyah, improved irrigation channels and increased
computer access for Baghdad University students. ITAO Director
mentioned that there is a current program in place that has created
an on-line library for university students. Dr. Chalabi thanked them
for their time and expertise.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Committee Discusses Water
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. Concerns over potable water and irrigation water shortages were
expressed as well as inadequate sewerage treatment capabilities.
Ghaziliya was used as an example of an obsolete sewerage network.
According to the Deputy Mayor, the Amanat is having difficulties
recruiting contractors to address these sewerage issues due to
security concerns. FAQ spokesperson noted that the area was
predominantly Sunni and therefore a Sunni contractor ought to be
considered. The committee dismissed his comments. Chalabi wrapped up
this issue - requesting the Deputy Mayor to submit a memo detailing
needed equipment. He also tasked the JPC with drafting a memo to
expedite trenching in Ghaziliya to address irrigation issues.

4. Water issues in Nahrawan were revisited. The Amanat offered to
provide untreated water to the eastern qada, but insisted that any
treatment would have to be done locally. MND-B offered to provide
reverse osmosis capabilities. Some committee members criticized the
reverse osmosis machines, noting that they were complicated to use
and expensive to maintain. The Iraqi Red Crescent volunteered to
assist with maintenance.

5. The Amanat complained about power outages at the Karkh water
treatment plant. A technical conversation ensued about generator
ventilation. The Amanat offered to fix the generators with their
expert repair team, the General Directorate of Generators. However,
they noted that power problems will persist because of an outdated
control system at the reservoir.

6. A representative from GRD and ITAO Senior Consultant to Water
briefed the committee on the USG involvement in the Husseiniya
sewerage treatment plant. Due to other funding priorities, the USG
developed preliminary plans for a water collection and treatment
plant in Husseiniya. The Amanat dismissed the plans because they
were based on a lower population count than current residents. The
USG retorted that they based the designs on the reality at the time.
Current plans could be scaled up as necessary if in fact more
residents live in the area. The Deputy Mayor maintains that he could
fund the project, along with the Ministry of Public Works. The
committee will send a memo to the Amanat to request that the
Husseiniya project be started immediately.

- - - - - - - - - - -
Other Topics, Briefly
- - - - - - - - - - -

7. Dr. Chalabi excused himself towards the end of the meeting and
Sr. Deputy Minister of Electricity chaired the remaining few minutes
of the meeting. The JPC Chairman gave a status update on the JPC,
noting that they were seeking an official link to the Government of
Iraq in the form of an executive order. He also noted that the
Provincial Council Chairman would likely chair future JPC meetings.


8. The Ministry of Defense commented that a letter had been sent
from them and the Ministry of Interior to the Baghdad Operations
Command (BOC) to request the BOC to implement changes that will
prevent vehicles from parking illegally. Both the MoI and the MoD
noted that illegal parking is a security risk as well as a traffic
barrier.

Crocker

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