The Pentagon has explained in a report that KBR which was once controlled by Halliburton had failed to maintain the standards for the sanitation of the drinking water at various sites throughout Iraq. As a result, many United States troops have been diagnosed with all sorts of illnesses due to drinking the water.
The Associated Press obtained a report that confirms the illnesses. Soldiers’ illnesses included: cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea, and skin abscesses. The water used by the soldiers was not clean. Instead, the water was discolored and smelled terrible, which are two clear indicators of unsafe drinking water.
Five military sites have used the unsafe water for both personal hygiene and laundry. It could possibly extend to using the water for cooking.
The report could be officially released on Monday, March 10. However, there was no conclusive evidence in the report that states that the unclean water was directly responsible for the illnesses that the soldiers were going through.
But, KBR was listed in the report anyway. The reason being was that the company did not keep up with water sanitary standards for soldiers that are on the field. It adds that the sites run by the United States military did not perform all the required tests to ensure the quality of the water used for laundry and personal hygiene.
The report possibly gives the clear implication that both KBR and the United States military were both at fault. KBR would be at fault for not maintaining the sanitary standards and those in charge of the sites would be at fault for not performing all the tests on the water.
However, the report gave the implication that KBR was not completely to blame. By November 2006 as the report explains, the company provided water quality that was adequate to the sanitary standards of water in the field. But two of the sites continued to fail at performing those required tests.
“There, water suppliers exposed U.S. forces to unmonitored and potentially unsafe water,” the report explained.
But, that was only the tip of the iceberg of the situation. The same water was used for hygiene such as washing clothes, bathing/showering, and shaving.
Nevertheless, most of the blame has been pinned on KBR. With this new report, this could possibly be used as ammunition in both the Democratic and Republican campaigns. As the Democratic race is still going on between Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, this report could possibly provide some interesting ammunition in attacking the war in Iraq.