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Cablegate: Tfiz01: Dart Umm Qasr Water Update 9 April 2003

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 001360

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO PASS USAID/W
STATE PLEASE REPEAT TO IO COLLECTIVE
STATE FOR PRM/ANE, EUR/SE, NEA/NGA, IO AND SA/PAB
NSC FOR EABRAMS, SMCCORMICK, STAHIR-KHELI, JDWORKEN
USAID FOR USAID/A, DCHA/AA, DCHA/RMT, DCHA/FFP
USAID FOR DCHA/OTI, DCHA/DG, ANE/AA
USAID FOR DCHA/OFDA:WGARVELINK, BMCCONNELL, KFARNSWORTH
USAID FOR ANE/AA:WCHAMBERLIN
ROME FOR FODAG
GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH
DOHA FOR MSHIRLEY
ANKARA FOR AMB WRPEARSON, ECON AJSIROTIC AND DART
AMMAN FOR USAID AND DART

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREF IZ WFP
SUBJECT: TFIZ01: DART UMM QASR WATER UPDATE 9 APRIL 2003

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. On 8 April, the DART attended the Water/Sanitation
Sectoral Meeting, held at the UNDP Office in Kuwait City.
The DART also met with civil affairs representative and
UNICEF to discuss the water supply situation in Umm Qasr.
The following report is based on these meetings. END
SUMMARY.

-----------------------
UNICEF'S WATER STRATGEY
-----------------------

2. The United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEF) strategy
for improving the water supply services in Umm Qasr does not
involve the direct use of the Coalition-built pipeline from
Kuwait. This pipeline has the capacity of delivering up to
2,000,000 liters per day of potable water provided by the
Government of Kuwait (GOK). At the pipeline terminus, the
water is supplied to tankers, 22 of which have been hired by
Coalition forces, for delivery within Umm Qasr and
surrounding areas. The agreement with the GOK for the
supply of water expires at the end of May, and reportedly is
unlikely to be renewed.

3. The UNICEF plan involves several objectives. The first
is to provide potable water to Umm Qasr by tankering water a
distance of eight kilometers (km) from Kuwait to Umm Qasr.
UNICEF has hired four tankers of 38,000-liters capacity each
to bring the water to the Umm Qasr hospital and four other
locations in the town. The hospital will have a 10,000-
liter bladder, while the other four locations will each have
a 20,000-liter bladder. Tap stands will be erected at the
bladders to allow people to draw water for their personal
needs. The water will be free. It is expected that the
tankers will supply approximately 400,000 liters per day.
Additional bladders and tap stands will be installed if the
situation requires them.

4. The second objective (and first priority) of the UNICEF
plan is to restore the pre-war municipal piped water system.
This system consisted of a 75 km pipeline from Basrah to Umm
Qasr that supplied 2,000,000 liters of water per day to a
treatment plant, from which it was distributed through the
reticulation system to houses within the town. The water
supplied by this system, although bacteriologically safe,
was non-potable because of high salinity. As such, the
water was used in Umm Qasr for uses other than drinking.
Potable water was provided by two commercial factories
through private vendors. The water treatment plant and the
two commercial factories were damaged by the war and the
subsequent looting that took place. The overall restoration
of this piped system will require assessment and repair of
the pipeline from Basrah, repair of the treatment plant, and
repair of the piped reticulation system. One constraint is
that the pipeline passes through currently non-permissive
areas, which means that neither UNICEF nor its non-
governmental organization (NGO) partners are allowed to
carry out the needed assessment at this time.

--------------------------------------------- -
DART LIAISON BETWEEN UNICEF AND CIVIL MILITARY
--------------------------------------------- -

5. At the Water/Sanitation Sectoral Meeting, held at the
United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) office in Kuwait
City on 8 April, a representative of USAID's Reconstruction
Team reported that USAID was willing to rebuild the
treatment plant and install desalinization equipment to make
the water potable. UNICEF, which is currently prohibited
from working directly with agencies of the U.S. Government,
indicated that it would be delighted to see such an activity
take place. At the close of the meeting, a DART
representative inquired whether UNICEF had any objections to
a U.S. Civil Affairs unit carrying out the necessary
technical assessment of the 75 km pipeline from Basrah and
then making the results available to UNICEF. Again, UNICEF
replied that it would be pleased to receive such
information.

6. Also on 8 April, the DART met with Civil Affairs
representatives to discuss the assessment of the pipeline
with the civil affairs authorities. The DART will make an
official request so that the official process for
authorization can start. If no difficulties are
encountered, the assessment could begin within a couple of
days. The DART pointed out to the Civil Affairs officers
that UNICEF cannot deal directly with the U.S. military and,
therefore, the DART would act as a liaison between UNICEF
and the military.

JONES

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