Waiting in vain for betterment

Residents of south Jeddah district speak about decades of neglect by municipal authorities


Saudi Gazette report

The residents of Al-Karantina district of south Jeddah said their neighborhood remained in oblivion for decades and asked the municipality to complete the development projects that it had begun there about three years ago but were halted in the middle.

The residents said their district had been deprived of all municipal and civic services and it had been totally forgotten by the municipality and other concerned authorities.

Karantina, one of the oldest districts in south Jeddah, consists of many neighborhoods including Petromin, Al-Masfah, Al-Thaalbah and Kuwait.

The residents said they were waiting for the concerned authorities to develop their district by building asphalted roads instead of the narrow alleys and the dust roads.

Mansour Makeen, the district mayor, said they were waiting anxiously for the development of their neighborhood, which lacks good roads and proper lighting.

“We have been waiting for long years to see our district putting on a new look and join the other developed districts of Jeddah,” he said asking the municipality to give more attention to their area.

Salim Al-Qurbi, a resident, said the development projects were going on very slowly because of the contractor who was not doing a proper job.

“When will the municipality take the development projects seriously?” he asked while urging the officials to closely monitor the contractor who left the roads in a bad shape and was not able to complete the project.

Saleh Al-Subyani said the residents of Karantina suffered greatly from various environmental, social, hygienic, security and engineering problems due to random constructions in the area.

“There are a large number of empty houses and courtyards that have been turned into warehouses for used clothes,” he said.

Tarik Al-Raie said the district had turned into an area for dumping garbage, which was the cause of a number of diseases spreading in various neighborhoods.

“My house is located in a narrow alley. No car will be able to come close to it. When the district will be developed, the road will widen and I will be able to park my car near my house,” he said.

Ali Bin Ali agreed and said many residents were not able to park their cars near their houses and asked the municipality to find a solution to the many problems they faced in the district.

“We have no asphalted roads. We have no proper lighting. The electricity boxes are left open all the time. Our area has become an open sewer,” he said.

Ali said the deserted houses were turned into havens for illegal expatriates who had been living in the neighborhood for many years.

“The municipality should make serious efforts to develop Al-Karantina or the district will continue to remain in an extremely bad condition for many years to come,” he said.