Diwaniyah

Security forces detain youths swimming near ‘dangerous’ water project in Ghammas

GHAMMAS — Security forces recently detained several youths in Ghammas, south of Diwaniyah, for swimming near a potentially dangerous water project. The young men were released only after pledging not to swim near the site, which is equipped with large submerged electric pumps.

Mohammed Musa, director of the Ghammas Water Project, expressed ongoing concerns about the safety risks at the water intake station. “Youth and children swim near the station despite multiple warnings. They access the river through the adjacent park, which lacks adequate municipal oversight,” Musa told 964media.

The area contains powerful submersible pumps designed to draw water into deep wells, mitigating river droughts during summer. Funded by the World Bank, the project site was also the location of a fatal incident in 2014 when a teenager drowned during the construction phase.

To prevent further tragedies, Musa requested increased patrols from Ghammas police. “We have had to detain several teenagers to enforce the swimming ban,” he said.

Local youth Mukhlid Jamal explained the appeal of the dangerous spot. “The concrete riverbank and bed provide clean water and a plant-free area that doesn’t cause skin rashes. The metal platform is perfect for jumping into the water,” Jamal said, speaking to 964media. “Despite the warnings, we have nowhere else suitable for swimming.”

Sarhan Diyab, another local, highlighted the lack of recreational facilities in the area. “Ghammas, the largest district in Diwaniyah, doesn’t have a swimming pool. The nearest one is over 40 km away, near Najaf.”

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