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2007.03.23
* UNICEF: Baghdad families face water emergency as funding falls short * 28 Feb 2007 Delivering safe water to Baghdad’s most deprived communities… A vital service now in jeopardy. For the last 3 years in this run-down neighbourhood of Sadr City, a UNICEF-supported water tanker truck has been going house to house Providing a lifeline to destitute families coping with the country’s chronic shortage of drinking water. “We live on these water distributions which come roughly about every 15 days and the allocated water we do get is not really enough for our families.” Woman, second part Most Iraqis depend on municipal water systems which are hardly functioning after years of sanctions and war: water pipes are often cracked, corroded and leaking. In the worst cases, damaged water networks become conduits of dangerous water borne diseases putting children in particular at risk. Diarrhoea is already the second highest single cause of child illness and death in Iraq. Although costly, water tankering in Iraq represents an essential short-term solution to overcome water shortages. “The most important thing that we suffer from here is the lack of water. From time to time, the UNICEF truck comes. Last time was about 15 days ago. When they’re not giving us the water, we’re dying of thirst.” Sadly, this man’s fear could come true. As of now, water tankering services that help tens of thousands of people in Baghdad each day have had to be suspended due to insufficient funds and a lack of security. As the world marks water day, this year’s theme “coping with water scarcity” has a special resonance here.
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