Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH — Residents of Jeddah’s eastern districts — Abrag Al-Raghama, Al-Quwaiza and Obaid — have been suffering from lack of water supply for the last four days as they don’t get supply through the National Water Company’s network and depend on water tankers.
Residents of these areas are not very optimistic of getting regular water supply during the holy month of Ramadan, when water deficiency hits many cities of the Kingdom, especially Jeddah.
Al-Madinah Arabic daily’s correspondent visited the company’s water supply station in Sawaed on Saturday and met with a number of affected citizens.
Faris Al-Muqbily said: “We used to receive water through the network once in a week or 10 days. Now the supply has stopped for more than a week. Our storage tanks are empty and we are here looking for water tanks.”
He said after standing in the long queue for a long time he got a token and the official in charge informed him that the driver of the tanker would contact him after two hours.
“After standing three hours in the queue, the official told us that there is shortage of tankers and we have to wait at least five hours,” Al-Muqbily told the Arabic daily.
He said the residents had tried to contact senior NWC officials to resolve the water crisis but they gave appointment after 48 hours.
Ahmed Hamdan Al-Sulami said, “The water supply halted abruptly in the beginning of last week without giving any warning by authorities. We did not find any solution except approaching the water distribution center to get water tankers.”
He went to the center last Thursday and got the tanker the next day. “Mine is a big building with 12 flats and would require more tankers. One tanker of water is required for a single day. I went to the center on Saturday and the official told me I am not qualified for another tanker except after three days.”
Al-Sulami then resorted to the assistance of a neighbor to get the second tanker of water. This highlights the enormity of problems caused by the water crisis.
Humaid Al-Rifae from Abrag Al-Raghama District said: “We were extremely happy when the new minister of water and electricity said that his ministry would not allow the water crisis in Jeddah to continue at the beginning of every Ramadan.”
He added that the residents of eastern Jeddah districts were surprised to see the halt of water supply just two weeks after the minister’s statement, which he made while visiting the city.
“I would like to take this opportunity to urge the minister and the new water director to end the crisis by tackling the reasons behind it as quickly as possible,” he said.
Abdullah Hassan Assiri had another story to tell. He said he went to the water distribution center on Thursday when officials told him the system was down. When he went the next day they said on Friday most drivers enjoy their weekend.
The officials then promised that on Saturday the problem would be solved. “We are still waiting for water tanker as officials said it would take time because of big demand,” he told Al-Madinah.
The correspondent asked the officials at the center to provide the reason for lack of supply but said they are not authorized to speak to the press. The Arabic newspaper contacted NWC’s customer service number but nobody responded.