Baghdad to alleviate water scarcity in al-Rasafa

[Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images] Tanker trucks will bring drinking water to eastern Baghdad and remote areas.

[Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images] Tanker trucks will bring drinking water to eastern Baghdad and remote areas.

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Baghdad Provincial Council launched an emergency plan to distribute drinking water to residential areas east of Canal Street and to the outskirts of eastern Baghdad, officials announced last week.

Baghdad Provincial Council and Amanat Baghdad rented 50 tankers from privately-owned local companies to transport water to the areas covered in the campaign.

Amanat Baghdad has earmarked 100 million dinars for the initiative.

According to Kamil al-Zaidi, chairman of Baghdad Provincial Council, the campaign aims "to supply these areas with water because residents living there suffer from lack of drinking water, coupled with high temperatures and the unavailability of electric power."

Al-Zaidi said the campaign will continue until temperatures drop and the electricity crisis becomes less severe.

Particularly during the summer months, much of al-Rasafa side of Baghdad suffers from water scarcity because of the lack of any major water desalination project in the area. For now, al-Rasafa depends on the western Tigris project, the only large water project on the al-Karkh side of the capital.

The western Tigris project and several other smaller water plants combine to produce more than 2 million cubic meters of water a day.

However, drinking water demand in Baghdad is estimated at 3.4 million cubic meters a day.

"Al-Karkh side of Baghdad does not suffer from any problem in the provision of drinking water," said Sabah Sami, director of Amanat Baghdad's media bureau. "The water scarcity problem is in the areas of al-Rasafa."

Amanat Baghdad has rehabilitated a number of small water desalination projects in al-Rasafa, including al-Wehda and al-Karama projects. In addition, over 20% of the major al-Rasafa water project, which is expected to meet the drinking water needs of al-Rasafa once completed, has been executed.

"The reason behind the drinking water crisis in several areas, especially the outskirts, is the presence of many encroachments on the raw and clean water networks," Sami said. "Most of the water pipes were pierced and broken by some people who use water to wash cars and water their gardens."

Sami added, "The water problem will fully end within a year from now."

"Although my area is located near the center of Baghdad, it suffers from the water cutoff problem," said Jassim Mohammed, a resident of al-Basateen neighborhood in al-Rasafa. "Therefore, we call on Amanat Baghdad to get water to us through these tankers in order to solve the problem."

"The residents of remote areas suffer too much because of water scarcity," said Ghassan Hamad, a resident of Khalf al-Sada, Baghdad. "The distribution of water through these tankers will significantly alleviate the water scarcity problem that our areas suffer from in summer."

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    صادق الجابري

    2010-7-26

    Of course, the government needs to improve the water production and solve the problem of the scarcity of water. However, dear brothers, let's talk honestly; isn't it true that we have a role to play in solving the problem of water shortage?? Yes, we definitely do. The citizen can reduce improper use of their drinking water, while we all know how that water is wasted. For example, some citizens waste the drinking water, which became so, due to the hard efforts of many employees working on processing it, by using it to wash the street and the house façade, to water the outdoor and indoor gardens, or to wash the car. This means wasting a large amount of water in one house. Imagine if all the Iraqi citizens stopped this unjustified waste of drinking water; how much water would be saved for other purposes that benefit the country and the citizens? In such a case, a large amount of drinking water would reach the areas that need it. The citizen’s role in rationing water use is significant, and it will save large quantities of water, which will reach his fellows compatriots in those areas that are deprived of drinking water.

  • قيس

    2010-7-21

    Allah knows that we need water projects for the desalination of water in southern Iraq, and projects to conserve water by building giant dams, but Iraq needs more than that. Iraq needs to build ministries and the reconstruction of every building or edifice that was destroyed by terrorism. Many more projects are needed in Iraq, even sewage systems need to be changed and developed, and also there are a lot of projects. I believe, however, that it is not possible for anyone to know how large of a budget Iraq needs to cover all these projects. They must pass a large budget for Iraq, Allah willing, next year, and we need to increase it every year, as we have said, due to the large number of projects and the increase in the population, especially because of what Iraq has experienced in the way of exceptional circumstances. Major projects and services of electricity, water and others are important projects, because we are really worried when we see that the money is being wasted on painting sidewalks or something like that, which does not come first and foremost, and despite the simplicity of the projects, they consume large amounts of money; it disappears and no one knows where it goes. There must be attention to these things, and money for large projects needs to be dedicated to achieve them, and supervisors must be placed on these projects to make sure they are completed. As for the buildings, there must be construction of buildings according to the highest standards; that means not to spend an average amount and build a residential complex that does not meet the needed specifications, to have it collapse or something like this, and we lose the lives of innocent citizens. We do not want such things; we want solid projects with considerable amounts of money spent on their establishment.