Water shortages might force 35,000 people to leave their homes in Diyala: Official

Iraqi men stand beside a stalled water pipeline in a desert area in Iraq.

Diyala ( – A well-placed provincial official in Diyala has warned that 35,000 people might leave their homes in al-Azim city in northern the province due to water shortages.

Speaking to Alghad Press on Wednesday, Mohamed Dayfan al-Obeidi, the head of al-Azim City Council, said people in the city suffer from a “severe drinking water shortage for the fifth day in a row due to power blackouts and damage to water pipelines.”

“This situation, if continued, will force over 35,000 residents to leave their homes in al-Azim city,” Obeidi warned, blaming persistent power cuts for the failure of water pumps to supply the city with water.

He added that water pipelines coming from the Tigris River have also “sustained severe damage due to maintenance of optical fiber cables without our knowledge.”

He called on the government and the other bodies concerned to swiftly intervene to save the recently-liberated city from a great disaster that could force residents to leave their homes in search for water and other basic services.

Iraqi water resources minister Hassan Janabi said the amount of water flowing in key Iraqi rivers has fallen by at least 40 percent in recent decades due to construction of dams and other water-holding facilities in upstream Turkey and Iran, as well as increasingly erratic rainfall across the region.

Damage to Iraq’s own dams and other infrastructure from years of fighting – and from a recent earthquake – also is making water supplies more irregular, he said.


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