Electricity, Water Shortages Raise the Heat of the Iraqi Summer

Electricity, Water Shortages Raise the Heat of the Iraqi Summer

Monday, 4 June, 2018 - 05:45
An Iraqi grocer fixes a lamp with a rechargeable battery in his shop during power outage in Baghdad. (AFP)
Baghdad - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Iraqi people have started to complain about water and electricity shortages as the summer season closely approaches.

Complaints arose over Turkey’s intention to operate the Ilisu dam on the Tigris River, which will greatly affect its water flow, while homes are not receiving sufficient electrical power.

The shortages have led to uproar on social media, with Iraqis laying blame on the local authorities, accusing them of mismanagement.

Head of the Sadr movement, Moqtada al-Sadr, whose Sairoun coalition won last month’s parliamentary elections, took to Twitter to address the issue.

“I will not allow our victory or the victory of reform to mark the beginning of revenge against Iraq and the Iraqis,” he said.

“I am sure you will not be broken by the water and electricity shortage,” he declared.

“We therefore are giving the government a few days to address the issue otherwise you should clear the way for us to regain our rights,” Sadr concluded.

Electricity Minister Qassem al-Fahdawi issued on Sunday a statement on the water and energy crises, calling on all sides to “support the national electrical system.”

He noted that the government had ordered raising his ministry’s gas-oil share from 1,000 to 3,000 cubic meters a day in order to activate generators that have been out of operation due to a fuel shortage.

His ministry had complained that it was “suffering from the over-consumption of electricity, especially after fees had been reduced.”

It had also complained that tax collectors have been thwarted from carrying out their work.

Over a year ago, the ministry had signed an agreement with a civil company to collect the electricity bill from the people, a vast majority of whom refuse to pay their dues, which in turn has cost the energy ministry massive funds.

Fahdawi warned on Saturday that the advent of summer and its rising temperatures will increase demand for power and consequently lead to over-consumption.

The crisis can be resolved through operating more electricity generators that have been out of service because they were not properly maintained, he added.

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