Yellow River has lost one-third of its fish

Published: Thursday 15 February 2007

With the sewage system of Baghdad collapsing recently after four days of incessant rain, the city was left at the mercy of waterborne diseases. In some areas of the city drinking water was getting mixed with sewage. The city's health directorate warned against diseases like typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea and hepatitis.

"We can't use tap water for drinking or cooking. It's all sewage. That is why I have put aside about US$75 to buy water for cooking and washing," said Abdullah, a resident of Baghdad's poor neighbourhood of Hurriyah.

The municipality and public works department was blamed for the sad condition. "The municipality team should first clear the streets and neighbourhood of sewage," said Abdul-Rahman Adil Ali of the Baghdad health directorate. There is an urgent need to build a new sewage system especially in poor localities.

Municipality officials complained that they cannot work effectively as they face insurgent attacks."About 600 of our workers have been killed by insurgents over the past nine months. We need to be protected to do our job properly," said Mowafaq Kittan, a media officer at Baghdad Municipality.

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