Thursday, September 29, 2022


Harsh heat wave in Basra increases ice prices

 Harsh heat wave in Basra increases ice prices

Iraqis buying ice blocks in Basra. Photo: AFP

Baghdad ( – The heat wave hitting Iraq increased the suffering of citizens in Basra governorate in southern Iraq, where temperatures rose to more than 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), amid electricity outages, prompting Iraqis to use ice blocks to cool water.

For days, most of Iraq’s governorates have been witnessing a scorching heat wave, while weather forecasts indicate that this wave will possibility end within days.

Despite the high temperatures that increase every summer, a large number of Iraqis still lack air conditioners.

Most areas in Iraq suffer significantly during summer because of the deteriorated infrastructure, electricity outages, and the inability of many Iraqis to purchase generators which cost 100 USD per month.

Saturday night, residents of Basra governorate had a hard time with the complete collapse of the energy system, due to the high temperature and the increased demand on electricity, the thing that fueled their anger.

“The power outage was caused by the excessive demands and the unprecedented high temperatures,” the Ministry of Electricity said in a statement.

Residents of Basra and other cities rushed to buy ice blocks to cool water, as the only available solution, which led to an increase in ice prices.

“The noticeable rise in the price of ice blocks is caused by the increased demand by citizens, due to the high temperatures and the inability of refrigerators to cool the water as a result of the weak electric power,” Mohamed Al-Mayahi, owner of an ice factory in Basra, explained.

“The price of an ice block reached 10 thousand dinars (more than 7 dollars) in some areas,” Mayahi added.

The current summer followed a stifling spring in which unprecedented dust storms repeatedly hit the country, and experts clarified that the increased desertification, the impact of climate change, and the dry weather are the main reasons behind these dust storms.

On Sunday, the temperature reached 52 degrees Celsius (125.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the southern governorate of Basra.