Chronic neglect, corruption leave Iraq's Babil governorate struggling without basic services

Despite the election of a new local government and the appointment of a new governor in Babil, citizens are not optimistic about any significant change.
Aerial view of Babil governorate. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
Aerial view of Babil governorate. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Babil Governorate is considered one of the worst governorates in Iraq in terms of services.

It lacks economic infrastructure, and its citizens suffer from a lack of projects in the fields of sanitation, roads, and schools.

Street 60 in the city of Hilla, Babil Governorate, was scheduled to be completed in April of last year, but it remains unfinished.

According to citizens, no significant service projects have been implemented in the governorate over the past twenty years.

Abu Muhammad, a resident of Hilla, told Kurdistan 24, “I have spent my whole life in this region, and our streets have not been paved yet. There are no sanitation projects or sidewalks. The main reason for the province’s backwardness in terms of services is corruption.”

Similarly, Ebadi Ahmed, another Babil resident, expressed his frustration: "We just want to pave our streets. This area of ours is called the Ibrahimiya neighborhood, and it is an important neighborhood in the governorate. When winter comes, water floods our entire area, and we are not even able to leave our homes."

Despite the election of a new local government and the appointment of a new governor in Babil, citizens are not optimistic about any significant change.

Muhammad Jaber, another resident, shared his disillusionment: “Our miserable situation has been like this since 2003 until now, and our governorate has not seen any progress yet.”

The share of Babil Governorate in the general budget for 2023 amounted to 129 billion dinars, which has sparked protests by representatives of the governorate in the Iraqi Parliament, who argue that the amount is insufficient to meet the governorate's needs.

Ali Turki, a member of the Iraqi Parliament for Babil, commented on the situation: “The level of services in Babil Governorate is very poor, and previous governments are the main reason. The other reason is the poor budget and the lack of a good mentality in governing the governorate in previous years.”

Babil Governorate sees about 25 million visitors annually due to its borders with Najaf and Karbala governorates. However, more than 20 years after the liberation of Iraq, the governorate still lacks economic infrastructure and suffers from issues with road projects, sanitation, schools, and hospitals.