Basra Water Crisis – A New Stake To Iraqi Nationalism
BASRA GOVERNORATE (SEPTEMBER 14, 2018) – Amid growing tensions in Basra City due to the extremely poor water filtration systems resulting in severe contamination and hazards, Iraq appears to be under a gridlock of nationalism and proxy control.
In troubled Basra, Iraq’s third largest city, where the city is undergoing heavy pollution and corruption, protests arose and escalated very heavily after reports of severe contamination of the city’s water supply, which has historically been very poor in general. After 100s of Iraqi nationals around the city fell ill and were hospitalized, protests demanded an end to the crisis immediately.
After failure to implement an immediate solution to the crisis, many protestors believe that they have been neglected by Baghdad in terms of basic health and sanitation facilities as well as extremely high employment. As a result, protestors largely concluded that the government wasn’t working towards the advancement and protection of the Iraqi Citizen as mandated by the constitution. Like others, they believe that interaction with others (especially the United States) is blatant and chaotic.
Over the course of the week, protestors fought and intermingled with different proxies. Protestors torched the Iranian Consulate in Basra, causing both out-lash and appraisal from the protesters themselves. Shortly after, the American Embassy in Baghdad received mortar rounds in its vicinity, blatantly an aim to attack the Embassy itself.
Islamic State (IS) claims to have mixed its own fighters with the protestors in the sabotaging of the Iranian Consulate, although no confirmation of evidence is available.
The government’s slow and ineffective reaction prompted the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), under the guidance and funding from the representation of Grand Ayatollah Say’ed Ali Sistani, allowed for the 8 old water filtration systems (of which were largely non-operational) to be replaced with 21 new ones.
Prime Minister (PM) Haider Al-Abadi also received backlash amidst his visit to Basra and promises that service projects are underway amidst the wait for the next elections. He announces he will not be running for the position in the next election.
The situation continues to intertwine as proxies clash and Iraqis demand a new sense of effective nationalism.