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Cablegate: Prt Diyala: Provincial Government

VZCZCXRO4677
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0402 0421108
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111108Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5679
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000402

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON ENRG EAID SOCI IZ
SUBJECT: PRT DIYALA: PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
INCREASINGLY RESPONSIVE TO CITIZENS' NEEDS

REF: January 16, 24, and 30 Official/Informals

1. (U) This is a PRT Diyala Reporting Cable.

2. (SBU) Summary: Security in Diyala Province has long adversely
impacted the ability of the provincial government to provide
services for its citizens. Thanks to recent security improvements,
both the provincial council and the executive branch are
increasingly responsive to delivering services at the district
level. Governor Ra'ad has made it a priority to visit each Qada
(district) to meet with residents and Nahiya (sub-district)
representatives to discuss their needs and the current level of
services. Director generals, assistant governors, and one or two
Provincial Council members usually accompany Governor Ra'ad on his
Qada visits. In the case of Balad Ruz, pressure from an engaged
Governor and expertise provided by the PRT and the 431 ST Civil
Affairs Battalion have translated into improved service delivery for
electrical power and water. End Summary

2. (SBU) Summary: Security in Diyala Province has long adversely
impacted the ability of the provincial government to provide
services for its citizens. Thanks to recent security improvements,
both the provincial council and the executive branch are
increasingly responsive to delivering services at the district
level. Governor Ra'ad has made it a priority to visit each Qada
(district) to meet with residents and Nahiya (sub-district)
representatives to discuss their needs and the current level of
services. All director generals (DG) and assistant governors
accompany Governor Ra'ad on these visits to respond to queries and
complaints by Nahiya councilors and the general public.
Additionally, one to two Provincial Council (PC) members usually
travel with the Governor.

SERVICE DELIVERY IMPROVES IN BALAD RUZ
--------------------------------------

3. (U) Balad Ruz is one of Diyala's five Qadas (districts) located
in the south. This heavily-populated district, which shares a
lengthy border with Iran, has suffered through lengthy fuel, water
and electricity shortages since June 2007.

4. (SBU) In late 2007, the United States Army Corps of Engineers
(USACE) completed construction of a large water treatment plant with
the capacity to provide water to the entire district. Governor
Ra'ad opened the plant and promised to work with the Balad Ruz Qada
Council to improve services to residents. However, the water
treatment plant operated for one hour before it was forced to close
for lack of fuel.

5. (U) During a January 16 PC meeting, Balad Ruz Council members
complained about the lengthy fuel shortages and warned that Balad
Ruz residents were prepared to protest and "take matters into their
own hands" if the provincial government failed to end these
shortages.

6. (SBU) Meeting with the DG of Electricity, provincial government
officials determined that the electricity shortage stemmed from a
break in the lines outside Baqubah and could be easily repaired.
However, due to the reluctance of the Iraqi Police (IP) and Iraqi
Army (IA) to secure the area without additional Coalition
assistance, the repairs had been delayed.

7. (SBU) Pressured by the Provincial Council and the Governor, the
Diyala Operations Center (DOC) arranged security forces to accompany
repairs crews to visit the identified area and repair the damaged
lines on January 24, 2008. However, shortages continued following
the repairs. Working with the PRT Infrastructure Team, the DG of
Electricity identified the need for five electrical transformers to
provide adequate and a continuous power supply to Balad Ruz, and on
January 30 full power was restored.

8. (SBU) In late January, the DG of Water, working with the PRT and
Cat A team members of the 431 ST Civil Affairs Battalion, was able
to make needed repairs to the plant and provide enough fuel
(approximately 90,000 liters) to bring the USACE water treatment
plant back online.

9. (SBU) Comment: Both Governor Ra'ad and the Diyala Provincial
Council continue to exhibit an improved capacity to utilize
resources available to them, including PRT and CF expertise, and are
becoming increasingly more service-oriented. In particular,
Governor Ra'ad has demonstrated his commitment to better service
through his many trips to the Qadas to inquire how he and the
provincial government can improve their performance and the standard
of living for Diyala residents. Iraqi Security Forces
representatives have commented that improved service delivery is
having a positive effect on the security environment as Diyala
residents are more willing to work with IA and IP units. End
Comment.

CROCKER

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