An Issue of Survival: Heatwaves in Iraq and dwindling water supplies

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11 August, 2023

Iraq is known for its high temperatures. 

But with the impacts of climate change becoming ever more pronounced, the summer heat in Iraq has become unbearable for many, and also threatens to make large areas of the country uninhabitable. 

As Iraq inches towards this unbearably hot future, its ability to adapt is decreasing year after year. The Iraqi population has been growing while the water supply is dwindling and in most cities, public electricity is already too unreliable to guarantee access to air conditioning for all.

This week on The New Arab Voice, we ask how are Iraqi cities being impacted by climate change? Who is most affected by it? What resources do Iraqis have to deal with increasing heat? And beyond climate change, what factors are fuelling climate injustice in the country?

To help us understand these issues, we speak with Dr Biyar Zaza, a resident doctor working the largest public hospitals in Erbil, the Rojhalat hospital. Zeinab Shuker (@zfshuker), a sociologist and visiting climate fellow at Century International (@TCFdotorg). Nabil Musa, the founder of Waterkeepers Iraq (@WaterkeepersIQ) - a global network of activists advocating on behalf of the world’s rivers. And Khaled Suleiman (@ksulaiman), a Kurdish Iraqi environmental journalist.

This podcast is written by Lyse Mauvais (@lyse_mauvais) and produced by Hugo Goodridge. 

Theme music by Omar al-Fil. 

Other music by Blue Dot Sessions. 

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice.