Municipality ignoring south Jeddah when building public parks, residents complain

Many public parks in Jeddah suffer because of a lack attention by the local authorities to routine maintenance and regular cleanup.

By Abdullah Al-Dani

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

- Many residents of Jeddah are complaining against a shortage of public parks especially in the southern parts of the city and the absence of proper maintenance of the existing few.

The residents are surprised by the fact that poisonous plants and trees such as the oleander are still being grown in public parks in the city.

The citizens said they do not have enough number of public parks where they can go for picnics especially in the southern side of the city.

The few existing parks lacked proper maintenance and primary services such as toilets, couches, car parks and others, they said.

They said the municipality paid much attention to establishing public parks in north Jeddah while it completely ignored the southern districts which have enough open space for the construction of public parks.

Nadir Rafie, a resident, suggested the setting up of surveillance cameras connected to a central room so as to detect people who vandalize public parks, instead of wasting funds on the repair and maintenance work.

"There are some people who do not know the value of public parks so they will not hesitate to damage them," he said.

Mutaz Al-Ghamdi asked the municipality to carefully choose the trees and plants to be grown in the parks especially as past experiences had shown that some trees were harmful to the environment and the basic infrastructure.

Abdullah Al-Ahmadi was exasperated by the bad condition of the public utilities in the parks.

"There are no cleaners or security guards in the parks. This has encouraged some people to tamper with public properties," he said.

He said the eastern forest area, which has more than 150,000 trees, does not have proper lighting and has no place for families to sit and relax.

Hussain Al-Qathmi noted that many of the games established for children to play were damaged a long time ago but they were not fixed yet.

"This is a threat to the safety and well being of children," he warned.

Rami Al-Sheikh said the number of public parks in the city is very few considering the size of the population and said the existing ones lacked proper maintenance.

Abdul Majeed Bahakeem called for stationing sufficient numbers of the security guards in the public parks to deter vandals who tamper with the contents of the parks, as well as peddlers and the beggars.

Abdulaziz Al-Qudair said the focus on planting palm trees was not a good idea as these trees would not provide enough shade while being quite expensive to plant and maintain.