Embattled Iraqi PM Abadi visits Basra water project
Haider al-Abadi, prime minister of Iraq, visited Al-Abbas water treatment plant in the southern city of Basra on Monday to demonstrate his commitment to addressing one of the core demands of protesters – the desperate need for clean water utilities.
Some 30,000 people have been hospitalized after drinking the area’s dirty or salty water in recent months.
“His Excellency was briefed about the efforts of the workers and the developing work and ongoing maintenance,” read a statement from Abadi’s office.
“His Excellency also praised the efforts of the works consumed in this project and urged them to make the utmost effort to provide drinkable water for the people of the areas benefiting from the project in the province of Basra.”
Abadi faced calls to resign during an emergency parliamentary session on Saturday, accused by allies and rivals of failing to address the demands of Basra protesters.
The protests which swept southern Iraq in July resumed last week with fresh calls for the government to tackle corruption, unemployment, and the lack of basic services in the nation’s oil-rich province.
Fifteen people have been killed and hundreds injured in clashes between protesters and security forces, which have used live ammunition to protect public buildings. The Iranian consulate and the offices of Shiite militias have been torched.
Abadi also met with Basra Governor Majid al-Nasrawi and other top local officials on Monday. It is his second visit to the province since July 13.
Photos: Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq