By Army Sgt. Joshua Risner
Special to American Forces Press Service
July 29, 2009 - Renovations have begun on a water treatment plant near the villages of Hitaween and Adamiyah, Iraq. The sparsely populated, rural patch of land west of Baghdad relies heavily on the facility for its drinking water. "[The plant] was run-down and hadn't been maintained," said Army Capt. Chris Coates of the 1st Infantry Division's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team. "We're providing funding to refurbish some of the machinery, build up the area a little bit and improve the water capacity it can handle to get more water to all the outlying villages in the area."
Local sheiks and key leaders were invited to a July 27 ceremony that involved a chance to meet with coalition and Iraqi security forces and a ribbon-cutting ceremony to signify the beginning of renovations.
Army Capt. Jay Smith, commander of the battalion's Company C, said the Iraqi people wasted no time getting started on the coalition-funded project. "They went straight to work," he said. "We cut the ribbon, and they got their equipment out and started right up."
Security improvement in the area has made the project possible, Smith noted. The Iraqi army's ability to cooperate with the "Sons of Iraq" civilian security group is the biggest story, Smith added.
"The security has improved so much that we're able to concentrate on things like fixing the water treatment plant," he said.
(Army Sgt. Joshua Risner serves in the Multinational Division Baghdad public affairs office.)