Torrential rain caused floods all over Baghdad last week. It was not a pleasant sight: as the city’s ageing sewage system failed to cope, streets filled with murky grey water that smelled and looked as if it was heavily polluted with raw sewage. Upriver, the Tigris rose 15 feet in five hours, the highest it had been for 50 years, and dozens of villages were inundated.
The disaster is not great by Baghdad standards, given the Iraqi capital’s recent experience of car bombs, assassination, occupation and mass sectarian slaughter. I decided to take a drive to see how people were affected by the floods, what the government was doing to help them and, more generally, what the city looks like 10 years after the US-led invasion.