Opinion

Hit hard by rain

November 12, 2018
Hit hard by rain
Abdu Khal

Okaz newspaper

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs knows that flooding of streets during rain is a stain on its record because it becomes obvious that the city lacked major infrastructure development.

MOST Saudi cities get their share of floods and destruction during the rainy season. For a fact, rain and floods are a universal problem and not limited to one country or other.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs knows that flooding of streets during rain is a stain on its record because it becomes obvious that the city lacked major infrastructure development.

All our small and big cities did not complete their floodwater drainage projects. The National Water Company joined the club and drowned us even deeper with surfacing groundwater.

Because the ministry has assumed total responsibility for urban development, it should have made our lives beautiful during rain, instead of making us wait for the much-talked-about drainage system year after year.

Jeddah has been drowning for the past 10 years. The correctional steps that were taken in the past to redirect flash floods hitting the city safely into the sea were somewhat successful. This project was not carried out by Jeddah Municipality. Makkah Emir Prince Khaled Al-Faisal recruited a team of experts to carry out these projects and protect the city from flash floods.

The responsibility of draining rainwater inside the city, however, remained the responsibility of the municipality, which failed to complete the drainage system. Every year we complain about surfacing sewage and groundwater filling our streets as soon as it rains.

Since we have been drowning for many years, the municipality should have completed this project bit by bit. It could have covered a small part of the city in one year, another part in the next year and so on. If that had happened, then we would not have been crying about rainwater flooding our streets.

In another topic related to the rain, the announcement to suspend classes in schools because of the recent rain in Jeddah came very late. Initially, the suspension covered the students only and teachers were asked to report to their respective schools. The decision to include teachers in the suspension was announced late into the night. The question I would like to ask here is: Who is responsible for issuing decisions to suspend classes in case of bad weather or other?

Private sector employees complained that the rain had affected them too. Why are they forced to attend work on a rainy day?

We cannot satisfy everyone at the same time, but people do not like to see the schools suspended frequently. We can avoid this from happening only when the city has a fully functioning underground drainage network.


November 12, 2018
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