Some businessmen in Mosul have begun rebuilding their shattered premises without waiting for financial support from the cash-strapped Iraqi government or for the final defeat of Islamic State (ISIS) in the city. Rafi’ Ghanem owns an automotive spare parts business in the eastern side of the city. Ghanem said he and the 25 other businesses that rent space in the building agreed to contribute funds to help the landlord clear the debris and rebuild one of the two storeys. The city, captured by ISIS in 2014, has suffered extensive damage as hundreds of houses and public buildings including the airport, the main railway station and the university have been destroyed. Cement and steel prices have gone down steeply since the militants were defeated in eastern Mosul, as road connections have opened up with the rest of Iraq and Turkey, allowing supplies to resume. A metric ton of cement used to sell for up to 350,000 Iraqi dinars ($300) after the militants took over nearly three years ago. It now costs 80,000 to 90,000, said an importer, Saif Ibrahim. And although some work may cause discomfort to road users, engineer Mahmoud Younis will continue to rebuild. “We are working in crowded areas and we cause traffic jams. We also lack machinery and have limited resources, so we sometimes use machinery from other departments to keep work going”, he said. For Ghanem and many other Mosul residents, there is no other choice but to rebuild the city which had a pre-war population of more than 2 million.