Amid warnings of an outbreak of water-borne diseases, health officials in the southern Iraqi province of Maysan have destroyed 23,000 liters (over 5,000 gallons) of locally produced soda on the grounds that the drinks, produced with local water, were unfit for human consumption.
The sodas were destroyed last week in the provincial capital of Amara, where health officials have long said that potable water resources are inadequate.
An official in the al-Sadr Hospital in Amara told Slogger that as many as 60 percent of cases in the hospital were related to water-borne illnesses and diarrhea-type symptoms, which the doctor blamed on the use of unpurified river water along with deteriorating water quality in the Tigris River.
The water-borne illnesses affected children most aggressively, the doctor added, explaining that infants and young children have less immunity to such diseases.
Cholera disease has become a perennial fear in Iraq, especially during the warmer seasons, following the repeated outbreak of the deadly water-borne illness in various parts of the country over the last several years.