On Tuesday, meteorologist Issa Ramadan said rains will begin to descend on Kuwait and continue until today, as cold weather arrives in Kuwait. A little rain fell this week to free us from the summer heat. But, are we ready for it? Rain is beautiful in most countries of the civilized world, which have many ways to deal with it regardless of the amount, except here in Kuwait. Rain is a problem for all of us, except for those who use the wet streets to race, which is really frightening.
Rainfall is undoubtedly cool, but in March, the underpass on the intersection of Mangaf and Sabahiya on Fahaheel Road was deluged due to the rains, causing severe damage to many vehicles. More than 10 vacuum tanks worked on suction operations under the bridge. The fire department lifted out more than 26 vehicles submerged in the underpass. It was said at the time that the cause of rainwater collecting in the underpass was due to a drainage malfunction. Question: Is this issue fully addressed, so that the problem does not recur?
The director of the public information department at the fire department said at the time that the department had received more than 30 calls involving car accidents – most of them about submerged vehicles. He said the department used all its resources to deal with the accidents caused by the rainstorm.
The problem is that the beautiful rain reveals faults in road maintenance. In 2014, the rains saw serious and dangerous road accidents that caused the asphalt to erode, panicking drivers. This problem left vehicles under heavy shelling from loose gravel. It was good business for some as repair and replacement of windshields increased – especially since the price of a windshield is at least KD 15 and higher.
In 2015, the interior ministry received more than 2,000 calls during a short rainstorm, ranging from inquiry to assistance. The storm halted navigation at Shuwaikh and Shuaiba ports. This is big for a small country. A lack of awareness among the public is one reason for this mess and ignorance. The requirements of security and personal safety are essential.
I see some people thirsting for rain because of the length of the summer and extreme heat, but this does not mean going out amid a storm. The solution is that the ministry of interior and the fire department need to provide messages of awareness and serious warnings to people explaining what to do during storms and heavy rain.
Even auto insurance companies should have an effective role, as the submersion of cars is harmful to drivers. I do not know if a car sinking in rainwater is covered by insurance companies or not. The protection of people and their properties from the possible damage of storms and rain is the duty of state agencies, and public awareness is one of the means that must be taken into account.
Winter is coming and caution is a must.
By Muna Al-Fuzai