Seeing the photos of flooding posted by my cousins on Facebook reminds me once again on how corrupt and inefficient the Iraqi government remains. The city’s various neighborhoods are covered in water after a single day of heavy rain leaving citizens ferrying on makeshift floats just to go out for basic necessities. The infrastructure remains old and non- functioning with little hope of it being improved. I remember the same images from last year and the year before. As the rainy season has been heavier over the last few years, so has the anger Iraqis are feeling toward their government. And they have every right to be angry. Wars, violence and deaths haven’t helped and neither have peaceful, orderly and consistent protests. When does it get better?
The last time I visited Iraq in 2014, a trip I write about in Baghdad Stories, the first thing I noticed is the lack of infrastructure development that you would imagine would of organically have taken place by now particularly given the development efforts and monies expended. But as I driven around Baghdad, I noticed only local, small development and new businesses in the form of restaurants, shops, and pharmacies. There was no major new construction, road or highway repair, or any industry to take note of. Except for the new Mansour Mall that is reminiscent of malls as we know them busy with shoppers, diner and movie goers, there was nothing else. Putting aside the fact that foreign investment is hard to come by given the security concerns, which in itself is another lack of provisions, internal investment in nonexistent. The money that’s siphoned off by the various sitting and ex government officials either goes abroad to benefit neighboring banks and economies or stays in country in cash. No one is taking a chance on Iraq and its very obvious.
After what Iraq and Iraqis have been through, this is a damn shame.