Basra is thirsty : Iraq's failure to manage the water crisis / Belkis Wille.

Wille, Belkis [Browse]
  • [New York, N.Y.] : Human Rights Watch, [2019]
  • ©2019
119 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 27 cm


Issuing body
Summary note
"For almost 30 years, including during the period of occupation by the US- and UK-led Coalition Provisional Authority, authorities in Iraq have failed to provide Basra's 4 million residents with safe drinking water. The water crisis came to a head in 2018, when at least 118,000 people were hospitalized with rashes, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea because of contamination of the water in the Shatt al-Arab, the river Basra sits on. A severe water shortage from upstream has led to seawater incurring into the Shatt al-Arab so that farmers have had to irrigate their land with salt water -- losing most of their produce over the last decade. This continuing water crisis is a result of a complex combination of factors including mismanagement of upstream flows leading to too little water coming to Basra; pollution in Basra and further upstream, including raw sewage, garbage, oil spills, and industrial and agricultural waste; damming by neighboring Iran and Turkey; and climate change. Corruption, including by local authorities, has also led to illegal use of precious freshwater resources. Since last summer the government has refused to make public any of its investigations into why the water poisoned people. Nor has it announced any significant measures to improve the quality of water in Basra in coming years. Iraqi authorities have an obligation to secure Basrawis' right to use their land and to safe drinking water and to inform the public when water sources are unsafe. Where authorities have violated these rights, they should ensure that people can access an effective remedy against those responsible"--Page 4 of cover.
  • "This report was researched and written by Belkis Wille, a senior researcher in the Middle East and North Africa division"--Page 119.
  • "July 2019"--Table of contents page.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references.
  • Summary. Lack of information during the 2018 health crisis. Water mismanagement. Agricultural, health impact. The way forward
  • Methodology
  • I. Background
  • II. The problem : lack of safe water for people and livelihoods. Salinity. Livliehoods: farming, raising livestock, and fisheries. Contamination. Schools
  • III. The reason : insufficient water quality and quantity. Lack of enforcement. Mismanagement & corruption. Unsustainable agricultural and domestic water usage. Lack of adequate information, healthcare, and remedial measures. Other contributing factors
  • IV. International legal obligations. Right to water. Right to sanitation. Rights to health and healthy environment. Right to property. Right to information
  • V. The way forward. Recommendations for Iraqi authorities. Recommendation for the United Nations' special procedures. Recommendation for Iranian, Turkish and Syrian authorities. Recommendations for donor governments. Recommendations for JICA. Recommendations for development and humanitarian actors
  • Acknowledgements.
Other title(s)
  • Iraq's failure to manage the water crisis
  • Iraq. Basra is thirsty
  • 9781623137502 ((paperback))
  • 1623137500 ((paperback))
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