Linda Young - AHN News Writer - August 2, 2007
Baghdad, Iraq (AHN) - Beleaguered Baghdad residents faced hot summer temperatures without running water on Thursday in most areas of the capital. In most instances, their taps had run dry at least 24 hours earlier, although neighborhoods on the city's west side had been dry for six days. The problems resulted when demand outstripped electrical supply and left the city without enough power to keep water purification plants and pumping stations working.
One man said that he has mostly been without water for two weeks. He said when his family has had running water that it smelled bad and was cloudy. But the family can't afford bottled water and must drink it, resulting in two of his children having severe diarrhea. A doctor told him the diarrhea was from the water and that even boiling didn't render it safe enough to use.
A spokesman for the electrical plant said that even if it can generate enough electricity that it would take a full day to refill the water main and longer than that to purify the water to drinking standards.
But that is a moot point, because the spokesman said the utility didn't have enough fuel or electricity for its generators to keep water flowing anyway, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
The official blamed power outages in Baghdad on provinces in Iraq's north and south that he said had failed to cut back on electricity consumption, leaving too little for Baghdad.
Without a unified government, solving Iraq's power and water woes any time soon doesn't look probable.
But a Shiite politician said on Thursday that even though the biggest Sunni bloc had quit the government that he was optimistic about forming a unity government again soon.
All six cabinet ministers from the Iraqi Accordance Front quit Wednesday. They took that action to protest what they said was Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's failure to meet their demands to release prisoners who had not been charged with crimes, disband militias and include all groups represented in the government in dealing with Iraq's security issues.
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