HABBANIYAH, Iraq --
HABBANIYAH, Iraq (August 21, 2008) – With violence in the region down nearly 80-percent from pre-surge levels in many areas, Iraqi citizens have begun focusing on economic development and essential services.
Citizens of Habbaniyah came together recently to improve the Mudiq Clinic by constructing a drainage system, which will help rid stagnate water collecting between it and the road.
Two cement drains were built on both ends of a sloped section of ground directly in front of the clinic, forcing the water flow away from the entrance and into collection points.
The need for such a project was brought to the attention of Marines with Company C, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, during meetings with the city council, community and Iraqi Police.
Marines assisted the community in setting up a work force of Iraqis to plan and execute the construction of the sewage-like drainage system.
It is important to help give the Iraqi people an opportunity to better their community, said Pfc. Joseph Blei, a 20-year-old team leader with Company C.
“When they do projects like this it gives them a sense of pride knowing it was their planning that went into it,” he said.
Cooperation has become a trend in the relationship between Coalition forces and Iraqi citizens. Frequently, tribal differences are remedied by a common goal to bring advancements to a community for the betterment of its people.
“You can see through the community’s hard work that progress is being made,” explained Blei, a Philadelphia native. “It’s a big improvement from last year. There [is more] cooperation between tribes.”
The outcome of the Mudiq Clinic project resulted in two successes; Iraqis were able to provide an essential service to their community, and Coalition forces were able to build a better relationship with the Iraqi citizens.
“By working with the community we establish a rapport that increases operational success,” said Lance Cpl. Alan McAlister, a team leader with the company.
The Huntsville, Ala., native explained that a positive rapport with the community opens the doors for Iraqis to provide Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition forces with the ability to rid the city of insurgent activity.