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Cablegate: Tfiz01: Dart Assessment of Ar Rutbah

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 KUWAIT 001831

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 ASSESSMENT OF AR RUTBAH

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

1. Members of DART Field Team West traveled from Jordan to
Ar Rutbah in western Iraqi on 26 April. The team met with
local officials including the newly selected mayor, health
officials, PDS food agents, education officials and local
community members. CARE sent two water engineers to Ar
Rutbah who provided a detailed brief of the water and
sanitation system and needs assessment to the DART. The
DART also met with Coalition forces who have been present in
Ar Rutbah for the past several weeks. Immediate needs could
be met with specific, targeted interventions so that the
stable atmosphere of the town can be maintained. END
SUMMART.

-----
WATER
-----

2. There are approximately 25,000 people in and around Ar
Rutbah, which normally receives its water from three
different water treatment plants (WTP). The main source is
a group of 12 wells that are located approximately 15
kilometers (km) south of town. Other sources are the WTP
located about 25 km south of Heet, and the WTP near Al Qa'im
that draws from the Euphrates. Water is piped through the
desert, and there are several points in the pipeline where
the Bedouin population can draw water out for themselves and
their sheep. (Note: there are approximately two million
sheep in this region that each require between three and
four liters of water per day. End note.) The pipeline
running from Al Qa'im is not operational. The pipeline
running from near Heet is providing water about only half of
the way through the desert to Ar Rutbah.

3. Electricity has not been restored to the town and,
therefore, the normal water system is still down. However,
residents are receiving untreated water that is being tanked
to residences. Coalition forces acquired generators that
are being used to pump water from eight of the 12 wells,
although four are at low efficiency. The WTP is not
receiving power, and the two 525 kilovolt-ampere (KVA)
generators needed to operate the plant are beyond repair.

4. The DART discussed several immediate emergency
interventions to activate the WTP south of town and increase
capacity at the wells. Interventions were also discussed
for improving the operability of the
pipeline running from the WTP south of Heet. The DART will
continue to coordinate with CARE to develop implementation
plans to address these immediate needs.

----
FOOD
----

5. The public distribution system (PDS), which serves
approximately 26,000 beneficiaries, is functioning in Ar
Rutbah. All 63 Wakils (public distribution agents) are
accounted for and working. The DART witnessed PDS Oil for
Food (OFF) deliveries to Wakils consisting of dry milk, tea,
salt, beans, sugar, soap and detergent. This eight to ten
truck shipment did not contain flour, rice, oil or infant
formula. Food supplies are adequate; however, the Wakils
expressed concerns regarding future deliveries of flour,
beans, and oil. Beneficiaries had maintained ration cards,
and no PDS system problems were reported. Food was also
available in the market. The Head of Wakils stated that the
last food delivery from Ar Ramadi was on 16 March, and the
last flour distribution was sometime before that, but still
in March. He expects an unknown quantity of flour to be
delivered from Ar Ramadi on 1 May. Current private stocks
are probably adequate, but a more extensive assessment is
needed to confirm this.

6. The Head of Wakils also reported that the mill in Ar
Ramadi was recently made operational, but had limited
milling capacity. This needs to be confirmed. The shortage
of cooking fuel for private homes and businesses is a
concern as is security for food trucks on the main highway.

------
HEALTH
------

7. Following the aerial bombing of Ar Rutbah's 40-bed
hospital during the war, some of the 50-member staff moved
to the city's remaining health facility, the Primary Health
Center (PHC). According to its director, Dr. Farouk, a
pediatrician, the PHC receives 500 patients per day. It is
short on essential drugs, although there are enough basic
stocks to last another month. Lactose milk is used for
supplementary feeding, but supplies are low and too
expensive for purchase on the local market. There is no
therapeutic feeding program. Staff estimated the
malnutrition rate at ten percent. The Center has depleted
its available oxygen, which had been of low quality.

8. Due to water shortages in Ar Rutbah, the health staff
has seen an increase in diarrhea cases, though they could
not provide statistics. (Note: Medical records were lost
during the war. End note.) They have also treated children
injured by unexploded ordnance (UXO). Again, no numbers
were provided, but two children were seriously injured and
another killed by a UXO incident two days prior to the DART
visit.

9. Dr Aziz, a surgeon and the former director of the
destroyed hospital, said that because the PHC is not suited
for surgery or in-patient care, patients are transferred by
ambulance to the nearest hospital, 300 miles away in Ar
Ramadi. Before the war, the PHC had seven staff members.
It now has between 30 and 35 staff. Dr. Farouk and Dr. Aziz
hope to convert the former Baath Party Building,
located across from the hospital, into a temporary hospital
facility. The building was completely looted and would
require extensive renovation. The remains of the hospital
were also looted and all administrative and medical records
were lost or destroyed. Most patients in the hospital had
been deliberately vacated for precautionary reasons before
the bombing. One patient and his father, who elected to
stay in the hospital overnight, were killed in the bombing.

10. The PHC has intermittent electricity, provided by a
generator, and water but no communication capabilities.
Staff sent letters to Ministry of Health (MOH) officials in
Ar Ramadi, requesting drugs and supplies, but were told they
would have to pay for them in advance as they had in the
past. There are two public-private pharmacies in town, in
addition to the pharmacy at the PHC. Many of the eight MOH
doctors in Ar Rutbah (seven men and one woman) also maintain
a private practice.

11. To date, the International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC), MDM-Greece, and World Vision International (WVI)
have visited the PHC and provided small quantities of
drugs. World Vision, working with PHC staff, ICRC and MDM,
plan to deliver a supply of essential drugs on 28 April, and
would like to offer ongoing health-sector support to Ar
Rutbah over several months. The DART has encouraged WVI to
submit an implementation plan for emergency health
intervention in Ar Rutbah.

-------
SCHOOLS
-------

12. There are eight primary, three secondary, and one
intermediate school in town. None of the schools suffered
damage related to combat, but several were looted. Teachers
and school officials protected most of the schools from
looters, and the majority of teachers and students are eager
to get back to school. Some schools have started back up.
However, a rumor recently spread that the Coalition forces
had said that schools nationwide would not start for three
months, so some teachers and many students
stopped attending. Coalition forces and the mayor are
planning to get the message out to the community through the
mosques that those schools that can open, should open.

----
UXOS
----

13. Community members report the existence of numerous UXOs
around town, some dating back to the 1991 war. Several
injuries have been reported over the past week. While
visiting the former Baath party HQ (site of the proposed
temporary hospital), the DART witnessed a group digging up a
site in the compound that was full of UXOs. Coalition
forces intervened to stop the activity.

----------------
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
----------------

14. The town has selected a mayor and representatives for
the various government ministries. Police have begun
patrols, and are manning checkpoints at the entrances to the
town. Pay is becoming an issue. Officials are recommending
that civil servants keep records of their time in order to
submit it to the relevant ministries once the national
government is stood back up.

JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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