Iraq | Extensive power outages torment Iraqis even in the heat of more than 50 degrees

In Baghdad, hundreds of people protested on Friday over worsening power and water outages.

Iraqis suffer from repeated and prolonged power outages. They are especially troublesome in places even in temperatures above 50 degrees when air conditioners cannot be used.

Electricity was completely cut off in many parts of the country early Friday, but four southern provinces have been without electricity since Tuesday, news agencies Reuters and AFP report.

In addition to the southern provinces, electricity has plagued the capital, Baghdad, where hundreds of people demonstrated on Friday over disruptions to electricity and water supplies. Electricity had returned to Baghdad in part on Friday afternoon.

Previously this week, the minister responsible for electricity Majed Mahdi Hantoosh announced his resignation due to political pressure from nationwide power cuts, says British Broadcasting Corporation BBC.

The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity has cited several possible reasons for prolonged power outages, from terrorist attacks to power plant fuel shortages and disruptions to energy supplies from neighboring Iran.

Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Friday announced urgent action to combat major power outages. The Prime Minister said he would set up a committee to support the Ministry of Electricity and that he would vigorously address any kind of disruption in electricity distribution.

Iraqis bought pieces of ice on Friday in Baghdad, plagued by power outages, which have had temperatures above 45 degrees this week.

Iraqis blamed the blackouts on a government that has resorted to energy imports from Iran and has failed to develop its own electricity grid to serve the population.

A protester interviewed by Reuters Haider al-Saidi accused the political class that has ruled Iraq of a dictator Saddam Hussein displacement in 2003, when the United States invaded Iraq and plunged the country into chaos.

The Iraqi electricity grid has been in poor condition for years, mainly due to mismanagement and corruption.

Hourly daily power outages are common throughout the year in Iraq, but they worsen during the hot summer months, when households are dependent on air conditioning.

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