Baghdad drowning in sewage: Iraqi official

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Baghdad is drowning in sewage, thirsty for water and largely powerless, an Iraqi official said on Sunday in a grim assessment of services in the capital five years after the US-led invasion.One of three sewage treatment plants is out of commission, one is working at stuttering capacity while a pipe blockage in the third means sewage is forming a foul lake so large it can be seen “as a big black spot on Google Earth,” said Tahseen Sheikhly, civilian spokesman for the Baghdad security plan.

Sheikhly told a news conference in the capital that water pipes, where they exist, are so old that it is not possible to pump water at a sufficient rate to meet demands — leaving many neighbourhoods parched.

A sharp deficit of 3,000 megawatts of electricity adds to the woes of residents, who are forced to rely on neighbourhood generators to light up their lives and heat their homes.

“Sewerage, water and electricity are our three main problems,” said Sheikhly, adding that many of these problems date back to the Saddam Hussein regime when not enough attention was paid to basic infrastructure.

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