A challenge for local authorities

Illegal car washes flourish in Baghdad’s Al-Baladiyat district

BAGHDAD, December 22 — Residents of Al-Baladiyat are expressing frustration over illegal car washing activities on their streets. The makeshift car washes, often run by individuals from nearby neighborhoods, illegally tap into main water lines, causing wastage and street flooding.

Dhulfiqar Al-Shuwaili, an area resident said car washers show up every day and connect water pumps to the main lines, offering cheaper services compared to regular stations and evading taxes and fees. “Even police officers patronize these services. The only day they disappear is Saturday, rumored to be when municipal teams inspect the area,” he said.

A source from the local municipality confirmed the issue of informal car washing services exists across the capital, especially in areas with access to water mains. While municipal workers issue warnings against such activities, there’s no evidence of bribery, and car washers often return once the officials leave.