Qutba, a rural district with troubled projects

Half-finished roads, groaning healthcare, poor education facilities ruffle residents


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

QUTBA with its coniferous forests stands out for its enchanting natural beauty in the Kingdom’s southwest. The township has all the essential ingredients ideal for a tourist resort except the infrastructure.

Located southwest of Bisha in Asir province, Qutba lacks basic public services and facilities including paved roads, street lights, health centers and proper water supply.

Awad Bin Ali Al-Harthi, a tribal leader, spoke about the poor municipal services. The Hazmi municipality meets only 10 percent of Qutba’s requirements, he added.

“Only a two-km stretch of road in the township is asphalted. The villagers use dust roads, which are mostly inaccessible to vehicles and are unlit,” he added.

Al-Harthi complained about garbage getting accumulated in the streets of Qutba because of inadequate cleaning operations. Municipality trucks come to the township once in two weeks to empty the dumpsters. “People throw their waste in valleys and bushes, which is not a healthy practice,” he added.

Saad Mufleh Al-Harthi said people of Qutba have been had been waiting for the opening of a health center for four decades. Though the government had acquired a plot of land for the Qutba health center a long time ago, the villagers still have to cross long distances to receive treatment at the nearest health center in Qouba.

“I request the Health Ministry to give priority to opening a health center in Qutba, considering its quickly growing population,” Al-Harthi told Okaz/Saudi Gazette.

There are only primary schools in Qutba. The village children travel to nearby villages to obtain intermediate and secondary education despite a lack of public transport facilities.

“We need at least intermediate schools,” said Mufleh Mabrook Al-Harthi, adding that the number of students in Qutba is growing year after year. He urged the education department in Bisha to provide students with transport service.

Telecommunication system in the village is also in a poor state. The only mobile phone tower in the area does not function properly, Al-Harthi said. He urged telecom companies to establish their towers in Qutba to improve network availability.

Residents of the village complained about irregular drinking water supply. They called for the completion of Qouba-Balqarn Road, which passes through Qutba. About 40 km of road from Alaya to Qutba has been completed but the work stopped before it reached the village. Young men of Qutba have called upon the authorities to build a football stadium in the village.