Iraq: A country in shambles

By Dahr Jamail | Al Jazeera English | Published: January 9, 2012

Despite promises made for improvements, Iraq’s economy and infrastructure are still a disaster.

In Sadr City, Baghdad, the streets are cracked, filled with potholes, and strewn with refuse (Dahr Jamail / Al Jazeera

Baghdad, Iraq – As a daily drumbeat of violence continues to reverberate across Iraq, people here continue to struggle to find some sense of normality, a task made increasingly difficult due to ongoing violence and the lack of both water and electricity.

 During the build-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration promised the war would bring Iraqis a better life, and vast improvements in their infrastructure, which had been severely debilitated by nearly 13 years of strangling economic sanctions.

More jobs, improved water availability, more reliable electricity supplies, and major rehabilitation of the medical infrastructure were promised.

But now that the US military has ended its formal military occupation of Iraq, nearly eight years of war has left the promises as little more than a mirage.

Ongoing water shortages

Hashim Hassan is the Deputy Director of the Baghdad Water Authority (BWA), and he admits to an ongoing shortage of clean drinking water for Baghdad’s seven million residents.

“We produce 2.5 million cubic litres daily, so there is a shortage of 1m cubic litres every day,” Hassan explained to Al Jazeera. “We’ve added projects to increase water availability, and we are hoping to stop the ongoing shortage by the end of 2012.”

According to Hassan, 80 per cent of the Baghdad’s piping network needs rehabilitation – work currently underway – in addition to positioning 100 compact units around the city, which would increase clean water availability until larger plants can come fully online.

Read the full story at Al Jazeera English.

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One Comment

  1. Gary Farland January 16, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    We should organize a “National Day of Apology to the Iranian People”. There could be demonstrations where people donate things, including money. And it would be nice if someone composed a song that Al Jazeera could play, sung by Americans.

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