KUWAIT: Damaged cars are pictured following heavy rain in a flooded parking lot in Fahaheel, south of Kuwait City, on November 10, 2018. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Minister of State for Services Jenan Bushehri announced forming special technical teams to assess the damage caused by the recent rain to Sabah Al-Ahmad City’s infrastructure. Southern areas were affected the most by the stormy weather, and Sabah Al-Ahmad City was among the most heavily-affected. Bushehri said assessment teams will tour various sectors in the city and report back within a week, noting that a number of companies will immediately tend to the repairs as per the terms of the contracts signed with them without costing the housing authority any expense.
Bushehri added the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) is coordinating with the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) to assess the damage and report to the neutral committee formed by Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Hosam Al-Roumi. She stressed that concerned companies will be ‘severely punished’ in case any dereliction or manipulation was involved, adding that the housing authority’s officials and employees will also be held accountable if they were involved in such dereliction.
Meanwhile, Oil Minister and Minister of Electricity and Water Bakheet Al-Rasheedi urged employees in various ministry sectors to be on alert to face the heavy rain forecast for tomorrow. Speaking during a meeting with ministry officials, Rasheedi urged them to learn the lessons from previous contingencies and work on avoiding the rain’s negative impact.

Join efforts
In the meantime, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) representative in Kuwait Nabila Al-Anjari urged legislatives, executives, NGOs and all citizens to join efforts and face the effects of the recent rain, resolve the problem and prevent it from recurring, instead of exchanging accusations and pointing fingers. Anjari added that full studies have to be made to reach final solutions for the problem of rainwater drainage and flooding of various streets regardless of the cost, because Kuwait is a rich country and has enough manpower and funds to do so.
The Municipal Council met yesterday headed by Chairman Osama Al-Otaibi to discuss the recent rains. Speaking during the meeting, Kuwait Municipality’s director reminded that total rainfall recorded in 1954, when many old houses were damaged by the rain, was 300 mm, while the rain that recently fell was 130 mm in just two hours, which is beyond the state’s capacity. He also noted that a construction consultant has been hired to build gigantic basins to make use of rainwater. Council members Abul Salam Al-Randi, Maha Al-Baghli and Abdul Aziz Al-Mojel raised the issue of cleaning companies and the state of cleaning in Kuwait, noting that the cleaning equipment was outdated and that streets need to be washed twice a week.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi