25/06/2011 § Leave a comment
Lining Erbil’s wide and dusty roads are countless husks of buildings. Grey concrete skeletons waiting expectantly for a workman’s hand. And yet, passing these would-be buildings, day and night, no pneumatic drills puncture the low hum of the traffic, no scaffolding creeps up the monotone walls, the diggers remain still, heads bowed.
Corruption and poor planning, a friend explains, is the reason for the inactivity. Investment is so free flowing in the region that even a poor plan will get funding. The big man running the show will always start construction of the white elephant – you need something to show investors after all. But after a few months, with the money drained off to this pocket of that, one official or another, there’s nothing left to keep the work going, and the project grinds to a halt.
These are a few such buildings all within 15 minutes walk of my house.