Iraq is in serious turmoil. There have been nationwide protests over the lack of jobs, clean water, and a stable power grid — the situation is approaching a tipping point. The capital city of Baghdad is presently exporting more electricity than it ever has previously, according to officials from the Ministry of Electricity. Baghdad’s public electricity transmission company is doing the heavy lifting. Their Director General engineer, Wafi Mohammed al-Miyahi, claims that last week the national electricity network peaked at 15,900 megawatts. A statement released by the Ministry of Electricity read that, “The capital Baghdad was provided with 4,260 megawatts.”

Al-Mayahi went on to say that this wattage was the most produced in the ministry’s history, “after new generation units entered into the electricity network.” In areas where the new system has been put into effect, around the city of Baghdad, it is being reported that the locations are getting 20 hours of continuous electricity per day; a far cry from the rolling black-outs that the rest of the nation suffers from. Al-Mayahi added that, “Those on the ministry’s payroll work day and night to preserve the achieved production and bolstering it for the service of the honorable citizens of Iraq.” He continued to explain that after Iran cut off electrical supply due to non-payments by the Iraqi government, the generators were reactivated and this has led to the sudden and drastic increase in power output in the area.

It is unlikely that increased output by the Ministry of Electricity will have much effect on the rest of Iraq’s power issues considering the extremely poor state the grid is presently in. Most Iraqi neighborhoods are lined with telephone poles adorned with “rats nests” of electrical wires. Japan has recently entered an agreement with Iraqi-Kurdistan to overhaul their entire grid over the next ten years — as they suffer from many of the same problems, minus the protests. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi addressed the issue of protests, claiming he supports the people who are demanding legitimate solutions to very real issues that afflict the country. He simultaneously expressed that violent disorder or acts of rioting would not be permitted and security forces would respond appropriately; some protesters have already been shot.

Featured image: Al Rasheed Street in Baghdad, Iraq. | Wikimedia Commons