Water Shortage Worsens in Camp Liberty

Daytime temperatures reaches 57 degrees in Camp Liberty in the sun (134 degrees fahrenheit). According to Iraqi press, the upcoming Ramadan will be the hottest of the last 38 years. Shortage of water in Camp Liberty has worsened within the last 10 days, due to longer queues of tankers, which many times reache 25 vehicles, at the single water pumping station in the area.

In order to provide water to Liberty, nearly 80 residents have to endeavor from 3am to midnight every day. Water tankers are highly decedent and lack air conditioners. The individuals who go to the pumping station, have to wait from seven to nine straight hours in intolerable heat and many are hit by severe sunstroke.

Representatives of UNAMI have twice inspected the long queue at the pumping station in the last 10 days, and have taken video clips and pictures, but no change has occurred in the situation.

Since their arrival at Camp Liberty, the residents had requested the water pipe line to be connected to the city’s water network or to pump water from the canal which passes only 150 meters away from the camp. They discussed the matter with the representative of UNAMI and the Iraqi government in detail and stated their readiness to transfer necessary equipment for water pumping from Camp Ashraf to Liberty. But their requests have gone unheeded.

The UNAMI representative quoted Iraqi authorities on May 28, and George Bakoos, the political adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister, in a meeting in Camp Liberty in the presence of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq on May 31, emphasized Camp Liberty would be connected to Baghdad’s water network before Ramadan. Three days before Ramadan, no single measure has been taken to this effect.

It is past time to supply water by tankers for 2000 inhabitants at Camp Liberty and if the camp is not connected to the city network or water channel expeditiously, the situation will become more critical.

Shahriar Kia

Shahriar Kia is a member of the Iranian opposition (PMOI /MEK). He is a human rights activist and political analyst on Iran and the Middle East.