FALLUJAH, Iraq --
Coalition Forces and Fallujah officials are currently engaged in discussions to develop proposals for the improvement of the city’s Jolan district.
Company K, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team-1 met with local Iraqi leaders and Iraqi Police Maj. Rashid Hamid Calih Mobarak al-Ajely, during a district meeting, May 19, to determine the main priorities of the district included school renovations, installation of water lines and restoring half-demolished buildings to enhance the area’s aesthetics.
To compliment the current government of Iraq reconstruction efforts, Coalition Forces use commander’s emergency response funds to address safety, security and other issues within the local communities.
“All of the schools in Jolan are in need of clean up, which will be done by using day laborers,” said Sgt. Joseph Gaines, Team 5 sergeant of operations with the Civil Affairs Group (CAG) supporting the battalion’s area of operations.
The day labor program serves two functions: It provides Iraqis with short-term employment and income for the local economy and it improves living conditions and infrastructure.
Day laborers are currently used all around Fallujah and are paid regularly for rendering various non-technical services to clean up and improve the city’s image. Company leaders suggested that day laborers are sufficient for smaller jobs like painting, while businesses will we be awarded contracts for projects that require a skilled labor.
“If we use day laborers to do the painting, then we can reserve contracts for jobs that require more technical expertise,” Gaines said. “By doing this, we can achieve the best quality work for our money.”
The local contractor submitted proposals to the battalion’s command to request contracts for plumbing, electrical, and basic construction.
“Basically, we’re looking for whole renovations within the schools and building additions on to ones with too many students,” said 2nd Lt. Joseph D. Berg, platoon commander, 2nd Platoon, Company K.
CAG also reported that other ongoing projects, such as the district jail, are up to standards. With heavy fighting that occurred in 2004, some buildings still show the signs of war and are unsafe and uninhabitable. These buildings are being considered for necessary teardowns and possible rebuilds.
The district holds bi-weekly meetings to plan improvements and to open employment opportunities to boost the local economy.