Electricity shortfall hits poor Iraqis hardest

Those who can’t afford expensive generators or the fuel to run them suffer the greatest discomforts and dangers of Iraq’s extreme summer heat.
Highrise towers like these in Baghdad become excruciatingly hot during the summer months when electricity for running fans and air conditioners is sporadic at best. (CARMEN GENTILE/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Day after day, Suhail Najin climbs nine flights of stairs in the sweltering Iraqi heat to his top-floor apartment. The concrete high-rise tower he calls home soaks up the blazing summer sun, turning the building into a virtual oven. Najin's home often has no electricity to run fans or air conditioners, let alone the building's elevator.

Iraqis like Najin are suffering amid a chronic power shortage blamed on an antiquated and war-ravaged electrical grid. Most Iraqis are lucky to receive the occasional burst of electricity. The average household receives less than four hours a day.

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