Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi speaks to reporters during his weekly press conference on Tuesday. Photo: PM office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The government in Baghdad is tackling the country’s dirty water problem, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said on Tuesday.
“We have held a series of important meetings with senior experts to stop water pollution, typically in rivers,” he told reporters during his annual press conference.
Iraqis are concerned about the health of their water supply after a series of crises this year – water levels in the Tigris were at historic lows this summer, polluted and very salty water sent thousands to hospital in Basra, and mass fish deaths sparked concerns that the Euphrates River had been poisoned.
Abdul-Mahdi said they taken “rapid and immediate steps” to provide people with clean water.
He said that recent rains – which caused deadly floods in the centre of the country – had improved water supplies in Basra.
His cabinet approved a number of water and sanitation projects for Basra where crumbling infrastructure is a major factor behind the province’s health problems.
They have also improved connections between those carrying out the projects and the relevant ministries, according to a statement from his office.
Deadly protests in Basra over the summer shook the government. Demonstrators fed up with rampant corruption demanded better government services and accountability.