Whilst the world deals with the recent Wikileak revelations that Saudi exaggerated its oil supplies by 40%, local Saudi citizens have got together to deal with a more pressing issue for them: recurrent and deadly floods. Just this winter four people were killed after heavy rains, electricity was cut off in parts of Saudi’s second largest city of Jeddah and many feared a repeat of the serious flooding of 2009 that killed 122 people.
A group of concerned citizens from Jeddah have released a documentary (in Arabic only, I’m afraid) on the difficulties locals have faced in dealing with recent flood that hit Jeddah. Insisting that the floods are man-made, they have put forward suggestions to help avoid heavy losses in future.
The documentary, which is titled The Gateway to the Two Holy Mosques, was uploaded to youtube on February 11 and has already been viewed over 150,000 times. It appeals to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to take action and save the city from corrupt or inefficient government officials. There have been complaints after the slow clean-up of central Jeddah which was devastated by a toxic mix of raw sewage and rainwater this January.
Featuring the likes of Abdullah Omar Naseef, the former secretary-general of the Muslim League and Dr. Waleed Fitaiha, the documentary holds a lot of authority and is already gathering attention. In the documentary the writer Ahmad Al-Shugari asks for a solution which will ensure an end to the floods, a timescale for action as well an estimate of the cost of the efforts to improve flood protection.
Surrounding countries such as Oman also face the issue of flooding and have recently announced a major flood protection system to secure the suburbs of Muscat, which suffered from severe flooding during the recent cyclonic storms. Let’s hope that Saudi takes time not only to learn from its neighbours but also to listen to its citizens so it can resolve this issue once and for all.
:: Image via Abusaleh on Picasa.
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