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Iraq ranks fifth in the list of countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and is warming faster than most parts of the world. Nearly 20 years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the country is ill-equipped to deal with the tension.
By Sunday morning, the governor of Dhi Qar, one of Iraq's poorest regions, said that the official holiday for state employees would be extended until the religious day of Muharram begins on Tuesday, "due to the noticeable rise in temperatures."
Ten months after cleric Moqtada al-Sadr won the largest number of seats in parliamentary elections here, politicians from the country's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs are locked in a bitter fight over the shape of the new government. As a result, no budget was passed and major spending decisions were put on hold.
But just as most Iraqi provinces are likely to see temperatures of 120 degrees (Fahrenheit) or higher this week, the electricity grid isn't the only faltering public service, however.
On the streets of Baghdad last Sunday, young boys were distributing water from ice boxes, shielding their faces from the sun with sweat-drenched scarves. The veteran traffic police said their work is getting harder.
He said his soles were burnt and that he was wearing shoes that his doctor had recommended as a result. “He wants me to take a vacation, but how do I get a vacation?” said the policeman angrily.
In the middle of the day in many neighbourhoods, there was one noise missing from the usual noise: the sound of construction.
With government power systems faltering across Iraq, sites ranging from state ministries to family homes rely on privately run backup generators and an army of operators running in hot, dark trailers around the clock to keep them going.
But this poses its own risks. Experts say they run on diesel fuel, release toxic fumes into the air, and customers are forced to pay exorbitant prices for electricity to unaccountable and often corrupt business owners who own the machines.
It was scorching hot inside his small office, and the fumes seemed to create a kind of film through his eyes, he said.
Everywhere the region was suffering. On the wall of his office, the lists of families now burdened with debt to their electricity supply were growing longer. Inside his home, his newborn grandson, Adam, was crying as he struggled to breathe.
"Every year we think things can't get any worse, but then summer surprises us," Abdul-Kadhim said. He looked exhausted.
In the summer months, Baghdad's heat only subsides when a dust storm rolls in, covering the city with particles of sand and wind-softened earth as Baghdad's green belt dries up. This summer, thousands of people have been hospitalized with breathing problems as a result. There is not much doctors can do.
“We give them hydrocortisone and some time out of the storm,” Saif Ali said on a recent day, the beds in his emergency room still sandy from his patients' feet. "It gets worse every year."
Iraq's combination of rising temperatures and water shortages caused by climate change, mismanagement, and reduced flows from the top have caused disruptions in the past. In the south, conditions have forced families to migrate from their farmland to the cities, where tensions with the long-running population have been rising amid dwindling resources.
Large protests ensued, but the authorities crushed them with deadly force.
Across Iraq, small demonstrations take place every week denouncing poor services in the face of the sweltering heat.
"If you ask me about the condition of my land, I will tell you," the letter read. Drought, poverty, forced migration and violence.