A public meeting Wednesday will describe local efforts to help provide clean water to schools in Najaf, Iraq. Najaf is the newest sister city for Minneapolis.
Kathy McKay, with the non-profit Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, said schools in Minnesota have been sending money to schools in Najaf to pay for simple water filters.
"It's all really bad water, it's not drinkable, and the kids are sick a lot," McKay said. "So we get back these great pictures of kids very excitedly holding up glasses of clean water, showing us in pictures drinking the clean water."
She said most schools don't have clean drinking water.
"The U.S. reconstruction funds are trying to get the water treatment plants and the pipes re-done, but that doesn't seem to be happening in a timely manner, so this is a short-term, interim solution," she said.
A delegation of community leaders from Najaf will describe the water project, and other exchanges that could come out of the sister city relationship, at a meeting on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in room 64 of the Biological Sciences Building.
A group of Iraqi leaders is in Minnesota this month, exploring possible exchanges for a new sister city relationship, between Minneapolis and Najaf.