Iraq faces severe pollution challenges as daily waste reaches 23 million tons

Iraq faces severe pollution challenges as daily waste reaches 23 million tons

Shafaq News/ Waste covers large areas across Iraq's governorates, leading residents to resort to burning to eliminate the waste and its foul odors, which results in toxic fumes causing respiratory issues among local populations.

Notably, Iraq is considered one of the most vulnerable countries to environmental pollution, largely due to the remnants of war and widespread waste in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

The head of the Strategic Center for Human Rights in Iraq, Fadel Al-Gharawi, stated on Tuesday that the average Iraqi contributes more than two kilograms of waste per day, leading to a total daily waste production of 23 million tons, significantly polluting the air.

According to the most polluted major city ranking of the Swiss air quality technology company (IQAir,) Baghdad ranks 21st worldwide and second in the Arabic world after Cairo and Doha.

In addition, Erbil and Al-Sulaymaniyah are considered the most polluted governorates in Iraq.

According to Al-Gharawi, an IQR study showed a dramatic increase in Iraq's pollution levels, nearly doubling from 49.7 micrograms in 2021 to 2022.

"Iraq's average concentration of particulate matter was 43.8 micrograms per cubic meter." He added.

A 2023 report revealed that Iraq generates more than 20 million tons of waste daily, with Baghdad alone producing 9,000 tons per day. 

While many countries have embraced recycling amid rapid industrial and technological advancements, Iraq still relies on traditional waste disposal methods.

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