Soaring temperatures lead to tempers as Iraqis protest power cuts
An Iraqi man unloads air condition units at a store in the Karada district of Baghdad on August 2, 2015, as temperatures reached to 46 degrees Celsius (115 Fahrenheit). (AFP/Haidar Mohammed Ali)
Iraqi people have taken to the streets in a number of provinces to continue protests against the shortage of power supplies.
Thousands of people in the central province of Babil held a rally on Sunday to show their anger at power cuts during the scorching summer heat, with temperatures surpassing 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).
Similar demonstrations were also held in the southeastern province of Dhi Qar and the central province of Najaf.
The protesters called on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to allocate a special budget to solve the power outage crisis.
Demanding better electricity and water services, hundreds of Iraqis have been staging massive rallies across the country since Friday.
Several thousand people staged a protest on Friday evening in the capital, Baghdad, chanting slogans against the lack of electricity and blaming it on corruption.
A similar protest rally was also held in the southeastern city of Basra on Saturday.
Last Wednesday, Abadi declared a four-day holiday starting on the next day to help people cope with the heat, and ordered regular power cuts for government institutions.
Having an average of seven hours of electricity per day, Iraqi households are faced with hazardous conditions during this summer’s relentless heat.
Iraq’s infrastructure, including the power grid, has been severely damaged due to years of US-led sanctions on the Arab country, followed by the 2003 US-led invasion and occupation.