In Basra city at the moment the situation is becoming rather like the Crimean War. In Basra Palace the water purification plant wonât work at full capacity. This has been the situation for weeks, but it hasnât been addressed. As a result the lack of water means there are no flushing toilets and limited shower availability. The contractors who did the laundry and the portaloos have been sacked and replaced with a new contractor. On the day of the changeover the old portaloos were locked, but the new ones didnât arrive. Since there are no flushing toilets (see above) we had a day with no toilets â thatâs no toilets whatsoever. The new toilets finally arrived, but since then the new contractor has not returned to empty them. The new contractors have never turned up to collect the washing. This has been the case for nearly a week. We cannot hand wash because there is not enough water. Soldiers are out every day and most now have one set of dirty combats. We have not received post for over a week and no newspapers for a couple of months. The e-bluey machine has been broken for several weeks. In other locations in the city people still live in tents, despite daily indirect fire attack. I know that troops in Afghanistan have it very bad. I could accept the hardships if they were unavoidable, BUT THEY ARE NOT. If we wanted no laundry done it would be cheaper to simply not have a contract at all. Imagine if weâd been here three years and had a chance to sort this sort of thing out. Where is Florence Nightingale when you need her?