Cablegate: Chalabi's Provision of Services Committee - April 1

DE RUEHGB #1091 0991529
P 081529Z APR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. SUMMARY: Discussion at Dr. Chalabi's April 1 Provision of
Services Committee meeting was primarily divided between potable
water (for a third straight week), and the fallout from the previous
week's fighting in Sadr City. Key topics included an electrical
outage at the Karkh Water Treatment Plant, essential service
delivery in Sadr City, and Amanat control over ongoing
infrastructure projects in Baghdad. The meeting commenced and
concluded with a discussion on the importance of solving the water
scarcity issue. In addition to Embassy personnel, representatives
from the Ministry of Trade (MoT), Baghdad Water Authority (BWA),
Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) also attended, along with Deputy
Mayor Na'im, and Dr. Falahi. END SUMMARY.

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Outage at Karkh Water Treatment Plant
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2. Dr. Chalabi began the meeting with a discussion on reports of an
outage at the Karkh Water Treatment Plant. According to these
reports, Coalition Forces in the area were allegedly digging a hole
on the grounds of the plant and cut an 11 kv line providing power to
the Plant. The BWA representative then indicated that Coalition
Forces should stay off the grounds of the Plant, and always
coordinate with Plant management when digging any holes. MG Snyder
reported that coordination between the Amanat, U.S. contractors, and
Plant Management was adequate during his visit two weeks prior. BG
Milano concluded the discussion by affirming U.S. support for the
Karkh Water Treatment Plant project, and indicated he would
investigate the matter further for next week's meeting.

3. Dr. Chalabi used this topic to reiterate the importance of
potable water issues in Baghdad, and directed an invitation to the
General Manager for the Plant, for next week's meeting.

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Essential Service Fallout from Conflict in Sadr City
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4. From the Karkh Treatment Plant, Dr. Chalabi next turned to the
status of essential services in Sadr City, given recent events in
the area. After expressing a desire to tour Sadr City as soon as
possible, he then gave a rundown of Ministerial aid, which will
include medical supplies from the Ministry of Health, and fuel
trucks from the Ministry of Oil.

5. Subsequent discussion centered on issues relating to the curfew
in Sadr City and outlying areas. According to Deputy Mayor Na'im,
Ministerial officials, as well as Amanat employees are unable to
come to work due to the curfews, which may be affecting the delivery
of essential services in some areas. Dr. Chalabi noted that actions
must be taken to alleviate the isolation of some citizens, as the
current status will only exacerbate the security situation.
Additionally, when citizens attempt to leave certain areas, they
face long lines at BOC ID checkpoints, leaving them vulnerable to

6. Discussion on this topic concluded with various calls for
humanitarian supplies in the Sadr City and Rusafa districts. Dr.
Chalabi mentioned that the Ministry of Health and Red Crescent
should take charge of this particular issue.

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Control of Water Compact Units in Abu Nawass
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7. A very brief discussion again centered on illegal tapping into
potable water lines. The BWA representative indicated that these
violations resulted in the loss of 15-20% of the output from Karkh
Treatment Plant. Chalabi made a distinction between people tapping
into the lines to obtain drinking water, which he thought was
excusable, and farmers tapping into them to irrigate their fields,
which he thought should be prevented. He is interested in finding
alternative sources of untreated water for irrigation.

8. Dr. Chalabi next turned to the control of Water Compact Unit
(WCU) installation within the Baghdad Amanat. Deputy Mayor Na'im
indicated that the Amanat is working to connect these units (Note:
WCU's were purchased with USG funds. End Note.) to the potable
water network, however was waiting on U.S. direction. MG Snyder
reported that the Amanat had asked that these projects cease, in
order for the Iraqi government to take control of the project.
Although the Deputy Mayor briefly claimed these were two separate
sets of WCU's, Dr. Chalabi as well as BG Milano agreed that the
Amanat should take control over WCU installation. Dr. Chalabi
directed a memo to be written on the topic. The Amanat will provide
the list of projects, while BG Milano will draft a memo
relinquishing USG responsibility over these projects.


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