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The man bringing electricity to Iraq.
Baghdad’s generator man brings light
into the lives of Iraqis living without
Baghdad, Iraq – Before the 2003
invasion of Iraq, the country’s national
grid supplied the capital, Baghdad, with
between 16 and 20 hours of electricity
each day. But more than a decade after
the fall of Saddam Hussein, electricity
supplies have dropped to an average of
only one hour of power for every four
hours of the day – that’s six hours over a
24-hour period.
Hadi is known as the “generator man”.
He makes a living supplying others with
“Iraq is a very rich country, but life here
is very difficult,” he says. “We don’t have
the basic necessities covered to live with
a minimum of dignity. Electricity is one of
our biggest problems. The lack of energy
doesn’t let Iraq move ahead. It’s a weird
situation. We have so much oil but we
don’t have electricity.”
A 10 amp domestic subscription to a
private generator can cost anywhere
between $60 and $100 a month. That’s a
luxury few can afford. But Hadi has a
licence from the government that allows
him to run a generator and provide
electricity to others. In fact, he has two
When one of his customers calls, Hadi
connects one of the generators to their
fuse box. A tangled web of wires hangs
“When I switch them on, each one
receives the amps according to the
contract they signed – four amps, five
amps, six amps, it depends,” he
In some cases, more than one family will
share the same fuse box, splitting as little
as four amps between two households.

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