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Iraqi Ministries Working On Pollution Problems

BAGHDAD -- An adviser to the Iraqi Water Resources Ministry, Ali Allabadi, says the government must do more to prevent water and agricultural pollution in the country.

Allabadi, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-sponsored adviser, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq on May 8 that he was working with other ministries to curb pollution by drawing up the relevant regulations.

He said his ministry is working with the Agricultural Ministry to set strict standards to help prevent the excessive use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers that poison the environment.

Allabadi added that the Oil Ministry is also being engaged in an effort to stop refineries from discharging industrial waste into Iraqi rivers.

Suhail Badr Jassim, the Oil Ministry's environmental director, told Radio Free Iraq that his ministry was trying to reduce the diversion of river water through the use of groundwater and artesian aquifers, thus leaving the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for human consumption and agricultural purposes.