How long will we suffer from floods in Jeddah?


Al-Madinah newspaper

I am sure that almost everyone in Jeddah remembers the massive destruction that took place in the 2009 floods. I was actually very close to losing the mother of my children who was trapped at work. I still remember how we were talking and her battery went dead and I spent the entire day looking for her. After a day of worrying, I was very grateful to have her back at home after some heroic volunteers brought her home that night.

Every time we have a new flood tragedy in the city, these volunteers work with the Civil Defense by giving everything they have, including their cars, to save people. Why should these innocent people pay the price on account of corruption in Jeddah?

Unfortunately, eight years on, Jeddah is still suffering from destructive floods, again and again. We have seen homes, roads and cars destroyed, and more importantly lives have been lost, although less than in 2009. In fact, 116 people died in 2009 and then 100 people died in 2011.

What really disturbs me is that we have all had to suffer on account of people stealing millions or even billions of riyals that were supposed to be spent on drainage projects. As a result, floods continue to occur every time there is a heavy rain.

The question is: How long will we continue to suffer from floods in Jeddah and the effects of corruption?

We have been hearing of drainage projects and unfulfilled promises ever since the 2009 tragedy.

As someone who is affected by this corruption, I would like to suggest the formation of a body that is responsible for drainage, and that it be managed by a specialized, well-known leading individual and supported by specialist engineers from Saudi universities and by international consultants.

I believe that all of us would love to see such a body acting quickly and reassuring us that these flood tragedies will never again happen in Jeddah. We would all love to see serious plans to end these disasters once and for all.

Moreover, if the work of such a group is successful, it can be applied to all of the cities of the Kingdom.

I am truly hoping that this suggestion reaches the relevant authorities who are in a position to enforce it and save lives before it is too late.