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Post by RamblerNash on Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:34 am

Iraq's summer loot threatens health, work and sports

Iraq's summer loot threatens health, work and sports Iraq_4



2019/06/16 09:47:15
 
With temperatures rising to unprecedented levels, fans are extinguished in hospitals, soccer players are resting every quarter of an hour, food is spoiled in refrigerators with power outages, threatening a hot summer that threatens the safety of Iraqis.

In one of the freest countries in the world, temperatures in early June reached 48 degrees Celsius, which are usually recorded in July or August.

In the face of the severe heat wave, electricity consumption has increased, putting pressure on the degraded infrastructure mainly with leakage causing 40 percent of the country's electricity output, according to the International Energy Agency.

"The power cuts are up to 17 times a day," Abdul Hussain al-Jabri, health director in Dhi Qar, south of Baghdad, told AFP.

Many patients resort to private hospitals for treatment despite high costs, because they rely on themselves to secure electricity.

The grocer Abu Haidar decided to buy his own birthplace in Nasiriyah, the largest city in Dhi Qar province. In this province of more than 2 million people, the population gets electricity from the state from 10 hours to 12 hours a day.

Some of Abu Haidar's goods were already damaged before he could sell them. "Our work has been affected a lot by high temperatures because many food items are damaged before they are sold, especially with electricity problems," he said. "Many people have reduced their purchases of food."

In Baghdad, a number of shop owners have volunteered to set up outdoor water sprinklers. Some put their heads below them to reduce heat, while others use cold cloths to hold iron machines and equipment.

In the heat of the sun, some professions become more stressful and even more dangerous and threaten the lives of many who have to work under the sun.

In the oil-rich southern Gulf city of Basra, which has high humidity and heat, the oil companies working there have raised the violet flag to alert workers to avoid exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Traffic police, who roam the streets and roads packed with the smoke of vehicles mixed with the sun, may suffer the most from the harsh conditions prevailing across the country due to severe heat waves.

Because of this harsh atmosphere, the Iraqi league championship, which is the longest in the region, a threat to the safety of players.

Normally, the league competition ends in mid-August at the height of the rising temperatures in Iraq. Football players can not play in the evening because there are no lights on most of the stadiums.

With their stadiums lacking advanced standards, most notably the floodlights, the teams have to play the games at a time when temperatures exceed 46 degrees Celsius.

Sports nutritionist and football coach Lutfi al-Musawi did not hesitate to confirm the risks to players' safety.

"The hot weather causes severe drought and this leads to problems, notably the decline of sugar and difficulty breathing and fatigue to the point of fainting and may feel these problems players in the future."

Half day without power

The referee turns to the suspension of the game sporadically to allow players to drink water and other liquids.

For his part, the official of the information office of the electricity club Khayyaz Khazraji that "the medical system puts into account such negative effects, and the next day the players undergo routine tests to ensure their safety."

Twenty teams from different Iraqi cities are taking part in league matches, so it is going on in the very hot summer months.

The matches are limited to five football stadiums in Iraq, which can host these activities in the evening, in Baghdad where they take place in the "People's Stadium", the cities of Najaf, Basra and Karbala, alongside the Francois Hariri Stadium in Erbil.

Last summer, after a series of angry protests against electricity shortages, the minister of electricity was sacked. This year, the new minister is preparing to face an effective referendum on the government's progress.

This comes at a time when the temperature reached unprecedented levels since 2011, according to spokesman of the meteorological Amer al-Jabri.

The summer has become a season for angry demonstrations demanding oil revenue allocations to build public services rather than personal enrichment and politicians in the country, which ranks 12th among the most corrupt countries in the world.

Hundreds of protesters marched in Basra and Diwaniyah in the south of the country, while al-Jabri warned of a hot summer where temperatures could reach 50 degrees.




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RamblerNash
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