Working on Iraq's Electrical Grid is One Dangerous Job

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 08:36 PM

Sometimes you find the oddest information tucked away in a story about something else entirely. Like how dangerous it is to work for the Iraqi government trying to restore and maintain the electrical grid that supplies the country with power.

The info is at the back of a story on Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki's response to recent US criticism of his government:
Wednesday, the minister of electricity, Karim Wahid, said that it will be three to four years before Iraq has the capacity to generate enough power to supply its residents with electricity for 24 hours each day.

Currently, Iraqis experience varying levels of electrical service depending on a number of factors, such as whether they live close to a power plant or are in a region that supplies electricity. Baghdad has been mostly left in the dark. Its residents receive intermittent power sometimes for only one or two hours a day.

Wahid said that 1,100 workers have been injured, killed or kidnapped while working on the electrical system.

Eleven hundred, from a population of roughly 26 million (before people started scrambling to get out, anyway). Do you think that the Iraqi government may have a little trouble filling these jobs now?

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the unwillingness of Iraqis to give their lives for the power grid is a major reason that it's going to take 3-4 years to restore full power service. I also wonder how many troops would be required to ensure the safety of workers in this area.

Just one of the many bits of crucial info you miss if you only pay attention to the casualty statistics for Americans.

Just in case you were wondering, Maliki's response to the recent criticism (the headlined point of the story) is basically "screw off," but in diplomatic terms:

Firing back in an escalating war of words, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki on Wednesday chided U.S. officials for expressing impatience with the Iraqi government's failure to unite divided political factions and said Iraq would find other friends if the United States was disenchanted.

"These statements do not concern us a lot," Maliki said to reporters while he was visiting Syria. "We will find many around the world who will support us in our endeavor."


"freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"

1100 workers injured, killed or kidnapped?

Jeez, no wonder Baghdad's lights aint on.

Can't provide security w/o fixing the vital infrastructure.

Can't fix the vital infrastructure w/o providing security.

Is Catch 22.

These guys should be guarded like oil field workers.

Malaki? He knows he's on the way out.

Ayad Allawi is in DC right now using lobbyists to scare up support to be his successor.

The right to be free to huddle in the dark in fear is no right at all. It's a sentence.

Nice post Lee.

They say That God is found "in the details"

They say the Devil's there too.

"freedom aint worth noting but it's free"

Be Well.

"if it ain't broke don't fix it,
if it's already broke let them fix it"

Before I became employed in recent months, I was solicited by some recruiter to go to Bagdead to do a "contract job". Was I interested?

"Sure.", I said. "Provided as follows, one, my fee is an up-front non-refundable $25,000,000 in gold bullion, two, my commute in and out as I see fit will be in Airwolf."

No, I didn't get a callback. Wonder why?