Wednesday, January 25, 2006
BAGHDAD, Jan 23 (IPS) - While politicians deliberate over Iraq’s future, Iraqis are dealing with the reality of the present. They are looking at the debris of a country where reconstruction has come to a standstill.
They are also looking at a situation in which the capital of the oil-rich country has been stricken recently by a dire shortage of gas and kerosene.
Iraqis in Baghdad had been receiving 12 to 13 hours of electricity a day on average over recent months. Over the past few weeks they say supply has fallen to just a few hours a day.
“We have no services at all,” Usama Asa’ad, a 31 year-old mechanic told IPS. “Our electricity is on only one or two hours a day.”
Many Iraqis thought the United States would improve their situation when the occupation began in April 2003, but those expectations are long over. Iraqis complain that the situation in Baghdad now is worse than it ever was under Saddam.