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Friday, December 4, 2009

Shame on Saudi

Most of my readers have probably heard about the flooding that occurred all over Saudi during the Hajj. It seems that the worst of the flooding was in the western part of the country around Jeddah.

Although Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter in the world, Jeddah has no sewer system. I'm sure the Saudi government could have afforded to build the infrastructure of this city of 4 million, yet it didn't. To the shame of the Saudi government, there have been at least 500 deaths from flood-related causes.

According to the Guardian UK:
"Hundreds of bodies were swept in the current and up to 11,000 people may be missing in the sea, according to a report two days ago by the Saudi newspaper al-Yaum. This figure may be inflated but the number of the missing and dead surely ranks in the hundreds, and could turn out to exceed a thousand. For comparison, hurricane Katrina in the US killed about 1,800 people."


Manal said...

Yea, isn't is pathetic? (And this is coming from a Saudi!!) It's like you wonder where the heck is the money REALLY going!LOL Definitely not for the country or it's people.

My sister and my son live in Jeddah! May God protect all the people affected by this awful tragedy and help those families who have lost loved ones!!:(

It is an awful tragedy for those families who have lost loved ones!:(

Banana Anne said...

Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi rajiun. I can't believe that such a large city wouldn't have a sewer system, even if it is in a desert. Insha'Allah the government has learned their lesson and will build sewer systems in all their cities (and you're right, it's not like they can't afford it).

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Manal, Ameen to your dua'. Its sad to see how lavishly the royal family and upper society live in Saudi and how terrible things are for average citizens and guest workers.

I hope inshaallah you are able to stay in contact with your sis and son in Jeddah. Its terrifying to be in a place where you can't offer physical help to them. Some of my close Somali friends also have relatives in Jeddah, so I am praying for their health and safety too.

@Banana Anne, I know! Its really shocking to see the level of ineptitude considering Saudi's GDP. Its even more important to have proper drainage in deserts I have heard because of the possibility of Mudslides when it does rain. There is a lake near Jeddah called Musk Lake, ironically, it is a sewage lake.

R.A.~ said...

This is so sad and pretty despicable. Hopefully they'll learn from this incident they truly cannot afford to be so cheap!

Ayah | Kcaii said...

my mom said that it really does rain on Saudi ever Hajj time. She asked many people about it when she went there, and they all answered similarly. It rains in Saudi during Hajj Time. I do not know why. Neither they do.

heheh. they really need sewer. remember that there is now climate change. :)

GTFrenzy said...

Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi rajiun. My Uncle lives there :(

This is beyond sad! I can't imagine any major city without a sewer system.

@ Ayah

I think it rains during Hajj time, in order to keep the Hajjis cool and not hot from the harsh desert Sun.

AnaRifqa said...

Wow, that is ridiculous. Thank you for posting about this, Stacy, I had no idea it even happened! I check BBC world news often and never saw this. I am so sorry for those who have suffered from this. May God provide for those in need.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Yeah isn't it funny how humans are so dependent on water, yet when the balance is disrupted in any way it is dangerous to us.

A little rain during the hajj would be a blessing, but too much with no where to go is a recipe for disaster and disease.

InshaAllah there won't be any more loss of life from this catastrophe.

Sarah Plain And Short said...

:O no sewer system??

Fruitful Fusion said...

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Thanks for stopping by at my blog as it has brought me over to yours! :) I live in Jeddah, not in the South but I have family living very close to flood-affected areas that saw a lot of it first-hand (cars and buses flipped over, etc.) It is such a shame that the wealth of this country hasn't gone in to things like a proper sewage system. Apart from the fatalities (local hospitals say over a thousand) there are serious hygiene issues. The sewage water was mixed up with the flood water.

Just to respond to some comments, it doesn't rain during every Hajj. The Hajj falls in the winter now and has done for the last few years, hence the rain. It rained during Hajj in 2004 but not in 2005. When the Hajj falls in the later months, and definitely in summer, it won't rain. To keep pilgrims cool, they spray a light mist of water in to the air.