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Diyala province of Iraq asks for 33,000 new houses to replace slums


22 Jan 2013
The once violent Province of Diyala has urged the government to allocate resources for the construction of 33,000 new homes for replacing its slums. Diyala of which the city Baqouba is the provincial capital was one of the most violent provinces in the country during the turbulence that engulfed Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003, US-led invasion. The slums were an affront to the general well-being of the population in the province, said Rasem al-Ukaili, who is the official in charge of renovation and investment. Ukaili said the slums were scattered in 20 locations in the provincial capital and its outskirts and were inhabited by low-income and impoverished families. There is an urgent requirement for the construction of 33,000 housing units for tackling the phenomenon of haphazard housing (slums) by offering polite living conditions for the poor and the needy, he said. Normalcy is slowly returning to Diyala which has never been as quiet in the years since the US invasion. But Ukaili said that the poverty and the jobless breed worry and aggression and the slums are having a negative impact. He did not say whether the authorities in Baghdad have made any promises but the Ministry of Planning has declared schemes for the renovation of tens of thousands of homes across the country. Housing deficiencies are almost everywhere in Iraq and the government says at least one million new homes should be built to ease the crisis. Source: [Azzaman]
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