One million flowers trashed after Makkah floral festival

Municipality trucks remove flowers from Muzdalifah following the Makkah flower festival.

By Ahmad Al-Luhayyani

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

A video being widely circulated on social media over the past two days showing tractors trashing millions of flowers following the first ever flower festival organized in the holy city sparked public anger.

The municipality had created a flower carpet as part of the event. Many people on social media criticized the municipality’s decision to destroy something that was so beautiful in an unprofessional way.

Raed Samarkandi, official spokesman for Makkah Municipality, said only 10 percent of the flowers used for making the flower carpet that was removed.

He said the remaining 90 percent was either distributed among residents and visitors. Large quantities of these flowers were taken to be planted in public gardens elsewhere in Makkah, Samarkandi said. He added that there was nothing illegal in the way the flowers were removed.

However, many people criticized the municipality saying even if only 10 percent of the flower carpet was removed, they could have disposed of the flowers in more professional way instead.

They said the municipality could have distributed the flowers among schoolchildren in the city or could have planted them in as many locations as possible.

They questioned the act of trashing a million flowers, describing it as a waste of public money. The flower carpet was 185 meters long and 45 meters wide and was made using more than a million flowers. The flower festival was organized by the Makkah municipality in Muzdalifah.