Heavy rainfall in Jeddah in Saudi this January led to the deaths of a reported four people and left hundreds more families stranded and distraught as they dealt with the flood. Although the floods in 2010 did not cause the same level of destruction as the 2009 floods which left over 120 dead, many Saudis feel that the city’s flood protection remains inadequate.
So whilst the donation of 1,000 cars will no doubt be valuable to the victims of the floods, what is really needed is clear policy and plan of action to improve Jeddah’s flood defenses.
I have previously reported in the issue of flooding in Jeddah and concerns by citizens that not enough is been to done to combat the causes. A short documentary was released in February by a group of influential figures in the region highlighting the slow clean-up following the floods.
Writer Ahmad Al-Shugari called for a solution which would ensure an end to the floods, a timescale for action as well an estimate of the cost of the efforts to improve flood protection.
In response to the floods, ten thousand household items have been donated to the victims by the Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation and distribution began at the start of this month.
Donations to the people of Jeddah consist of 4,200 air conditioning machines, 1,300+ washing machines, 2,000 cookers, 2,400 refrigerators and 600+ carpets.
Charities included Al Bir Association, Al Faisaliya Women’s Charity, Alahya Centers, the Women’s Charity Association and Almustawda’ Alkahiri have also been providing food for the affected victims, as well as assistance in rebuilding their homes.
Let’s hope that alongside these generous donations emerges a clear plan to help improve the city’s flood protection, which will ultimately better serve the victims.
:: Image via Arab News.
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