body#layout #main-top { display:none; } -->

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Baghdad’s water still undrinkable 6 years after invasion

The stench of human waste is enough to tell Falah abu Hasan that his drinking water is bad. His infant daughter Fatma’s continuous illnesses and his own constant nausea confirm it.

“We are the poor. No one cares if we get sick and die,” he said. “But someone should do something about the water. It is dirty. It brings disease.”

Everybody complains about the water in Baghdad , and few are willing to risk drinking it from the tap. Six years after the U.S. invaded Iraq , 36 percent of Baghdad’s drinking water is unsafe, according to the Iraqi Environment Ministry — in a good month. In a bad month, it’s 90 percent. Cholera broke out last summer, and officials fear another outbreak this year.

“Even if the water is good today, no one would trust it,” grocer Hussein Jawad said. He said that about 40 percent of his business was selling bottled drinking water, crates of which he’s stacked 7 feet high on the sidewalk. “We’ve learned to be afraid.” More