Jeddah mayoralty has lot to do!

Jeddah mayoralty has lot to do!

Abdo Khal

Abdo Khal

HOW many hours did the recent rain in Jeddah last? Let us say it lasted two hours and this is an exaggerated figure. Let us also calculate the period of rain in other Gulf states as well as Arab, African and European countries.

If we compare the amount of rainfall in Jeddah and other cities on the globe, we can find it caused lesser damage on them than the Red Sea port city even after raining one or two days continuously.

This shows that there is a problem in the city’s infrastructure. During the past years, the agencies that are in charge of rainwater drainage in Jeddah were exchanging blames when the city submerged under torrential floods.

A few years ago Jeddawis presented a strategy to change the city’s situation, which included measures to ensure smooth flow of traffic and rainwater drainage systems. The government adopted the strategy but there was recurrent delay in implementing the vital project.

After the arrival of Prince Khaled Al-Faisal as emir of the Makkah region we have seen substantial change on the ground. But when he was moved to the Education Ministry, things in Jeddah and other parts of the Makkah returned to the previous condition.

His reappointment as Makkah emir has given new impetus to development projects in the region, especially Jeddah. If he had not taken keen interest on Jeddah drainage projects, the last rain would have caused heavy damages to the city and its residents.

The total volume of rain reached 57 million cubic millimeters and all the rainwater was diverted to the sea without causing major flooding inside the city. But the rainwater that created swamps and lakes inside the city amounted to eight million cubic millimeters.

These are facts mentioned in a comprehensive report presented by the emir to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on rainwater drainage in Jeddah. The report showed the success of the rainwater drainage project but the mayoralty has failed to play its role.

Prince Khaled clearly stated that the mayoralty has not yet implemented the drainage project. Will the mayoralty be held accountable for the delay? Ever since the massive Jeddah floods in 2009, the mayoralty has not done anything worth mentioning to control flooding inside the city.

If this is the mayoralty’s attitude toward the issue of rainwater drainage, what can we expect from this organization to resolve other issues and problems of citizens?