Hundreds protest poor electricity situation in Al-Diwaniyah province

Simultaneously, citizens in Baghdad and several other provinces in central and southern Iraq staged protests, urging the Iraqi government to enhance the electricity supply, especially amid rising temperatures.
This is a locator map for Iraq with its capital, Baghdad. (Photo: AP)
This is a locator map for Iraq with its capital, Baghdad. (Photo: AP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Hundreds of residents in the town of al-Ghammas, located in Al-Shamiya District of al-Diwaniyah Governorate, took to the streets late Thursday to protest against the poor electricity situation.

The demonstrators called on the authorities to address their demands for improved electricity services.

Simultaneously, citizens in Baghdad and several other provinces in central and southern Iraq staged protests, urging the Iraqi government to enhance the electricity supply, especially amid rising temperatures.

On Thursday, the Iraqi Meteorological Agency forecasted hot and cloudy weather for Friday, with conditions in the central and southern regions expected to be similar.

Temperatures in Baghdad, Babylon, Maysan, Najaf, Dhi Qar, Muthanna, and Basra are anticipated to approach boiling point levels, while temperatures in the Kurdistan Region will rise slightly.

The forecast for Saturday and Sunday indicates hot and partly cloudy weather. However, a slight temperature drop is expected in the Kurdistan Region and central Iraq by Monday, while southern Iraq will continue to experience high temperatures with slight dust conditions.

Every summer, Iraqis face significant electricity shortages, leading to widespread criticism of the government for failing to resolve the issue. Citizens express little hope that the government will address the electricity problem, citing rising summer temperatures and governmental negligence.

Since 2003, successive Iraqi governments have signed numerous contracts with international companies to address the electricity crisis. However, many of these contracts have not been implemented, with some becoming entangled in corruption cases.

On May 1, 2019, former Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi announced in Berlin that Siemens, a German multinational technology conglomerate, had the credentials to meet most of Iraq's electricity demands and secure a significant portion of a $14 billion contract to restructure and enhance Iraq's electricity infrastructure.

Siemens later announced the signing of three contracts worth $700 million, including the construction of a 500-megawatt gas-fired power plant, the development of 40 gas turbines, and the repair of connections for dozens of power plants and transformers throughout Iraq.

A roadmap was also signed between Siemens Chairman Joe Kaeser and Iraqi Electricity Minister Luay al-Khatteeb to build new generation sources, upgrade power plants, and expand electricity distribution networks.

On February 16, 2023, the Iraqi Prime Minister's Media Office announced that, as part of the government's program to develop the electricity sector, the Ministry of Electricity signed a memorandum of understanding with General Electric Company (GE).

The memorandum covers several key topics, including improving the electricity system in production, increasing capacity, transportation, repairing infrastructure, training ministry employees, and reducing carbon emissions to support energy transformation in Iraq.