Baghdad's mayor Sabir al-Isawi expresses frustration with American authorities over sluggish repairs to smashed infrastructure.
"Baghdad's mayor lashed out at the United States yesterday – for spending huge sums on projects to collect rubbish and plant trees while his devastated war-torn city struggles without electricity.
At a meeting in the city's Green Zone the mayor, Sabir al-Isawi, interrupted US officials in the middle of a presentation to key Iraqi officials, to say these schemes are 'not what the people want'.
He was echoing the feelings of many critics of America's priorities since Baghdad's infrastructure was all but destroyed since the US-led invasion in 2003.
On average, residents get only two hours of electricity a day, and are bitterly angry that the world's most powerful nation has not delivered a single major power plant in four years of occupation. Baghdad [also] has dire problems with domestic waste. Each district of the city has a so-called 'Trash Street' where the local residents dump their rubbish.
And hours after yesterday's presentation a high-ranking US official admitted that, despite spending $22 billion on reconstruction across Iraq, the Americans didn't expect Baghdad to have a 24-hour electricity supply until 2013."