Veterans for Peace (VFP), in collaboration with its partner organization, LIFE for Relief and Development, has contracted to rebuild two water treatment plants in central Iraq serving over two thousand people. One is in the city of Baaqooba, the other in Falooja. This will bring the total to six, including the four water treatment plants serving 70,000 people in the Basrah area which VFP has rebuilt during the previous two years.

The Leon White Brigade, the third delegation of the Veterans for Peace Iraq Water Project (IWP), will leave for Iraq on May 6. Activities scheduled for the delegation include working along side Iraqi contractors and laborers repairing water treatment plants in Baaqooba and Falooja, and visits to the four plants in the Basrah area repaired by the previous two delegations.

The delegation is named after Leon White, who passed away suddenly and tragically on February 7 at the age of 20. Leon is the son of disabled Desert Storm veteran Candy Lovett. Candy traveled to Iraq with the second IWP delegation in search of peace and healing in her own life. She has been a strong voice of friendship for the Iraqi people, speaking out against sanctions and bombing, and supporting the work of the IWP in bringing clean water to the people of Iraq.

Iraq's civilian infrastructure including its water treatment capabilities were deliberately targeted by the United States during the 1991 Gulf War. Iraq's water treatment capabilities further deteriorated over the past 11 years due to the most comprehensive economic embargo ever placed upon a country. The effects of this cruel and unjust policy have been devastating, particularly to children, pregnant women, and the elderly. According to UNICEF, 5,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 years have died each month since the end of the 1991 Gulf War as a direct result of sanctions. Many of these deaths are attributable to the lack of clean water: water borne diseases such as amoebic dysentery and gastro-enteritis, and dehydration due to diarrhea.

Veterans for Peace opposes the use of war to settle international conflicts, and the development, stockpiling, and use of all weapons of mass destruction, be they nuclear, biological, chemical, or economic by any country whatsoever, including the United States.

After eleven years of economic sanctions which have killed well over one million people in Iraq, there is no denying that the economic sanctions of Iraq are a weapon of mass destruction. Veterans for Peace calls for an immediate end to the economic sanctions of Iraq, and pledges to continue rebuilding Iraqi water treatment plants until sanctions are lifted.


For more information contact:

Vickie Goodwin, Co-chair, Iraq Water Project,

Tom Sager, Coordinator, Iraq Water Project,

Or visit websites:

Veterans for Peace Delegation to Travel
To Iraq May 6
By Tom Sager

Posted on the Independent Newswire on 30 April 2002

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