Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Baghdad enters the Stone Age

Colin Powell's famous comment to George Bush about Iraq was that if we break, we buy it. Unfortunately, Iraq was broken down before we arrived after years of war and UN sanctions and things have gone from bad to worse with the occupation, resistance and ethnic cleansing going on there.

Iraq's power grid is on the brink of collapse because of insurgent sabotage, rising demand, fuel shortages and provinces that are unplugging local power stations from the national grid, according to officials....

Power supplies in Baghdad have been sporadic all summer and now are down to just a few hours a day at most. The water supply in the capital has also been severely curtailed by power blackouts and cuts that have affected pumping and filtration stations....

Hazim Obeid, who sells clothing at a Kerbala market stall, said: "We no longer need television documentaries about the stone age. We are actually living in it. We are in constant danger because of the filthy water and rotten food we are having."....

The power problems are only adding to the misery of Iraqis, already suffering from the effects of more than four years of war and sectarian violence. Outages make life almost unbearable in the summer months, when average daily temperatures reach between 43.3C (110F) and 48.8C [120F]....

Fuel shortages are also a major problem. Ghalib al-Daami, a provincial spokesman in Kerbala, said a 50-megawatt power station had been shut down due to a lack of fuel, leaving the entire province without water and electricity for three days.

He said sewage was seeping above ground across nearly half the city because pumping trucks used to clean septic tanks had been unable to operate due to petrol shortages. The sewage was causing a health threat to citizens and contaminating crops in the region.

Many people who would normally rely on small, home generators for electricity could not afford to buy fuel. Petrol prices had shot up to nearly 65p a litre, Kerbala residents said, a price that put the fuel out of range for all but the wealthy. |Power cuts worsen as Iraqi grid nears collapse - Guardian|
This article makes me reflect on how cozy my existence really is.

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