East Jeddah residents flee looming disaster

JEDDAH: A number of east Jeddah residents have left their homes after rain and underground water covered their local streets and leaked into their bedrooms.They told Arab News Wednesday that their area has become contaminated, with an environmental disaster there imminent.They said the situation was getting worse, but the municipality was not doing anything about it.Two weeks after heavy rains fell in Jeddah, many streets in the eastern districts were still covered with water that had also leaked into the houses.Residents hired trucks to pump water from their houses and nearby streets, but large quantities of dirty water were still leaking from unknown sources.Ahmad Al-Zahrani, Muhammad Al-Mitairi and Saad Al-Bassami from Quwaizah district said they were worried by the continuous flow of dirty water from pools created by recent rains and floods on the streets and in courtyards.They noted that mosquitoes had begun to breed around these lakes, threatening to spread epidemics, including dengue fever. They urged officials to take urgent action.“We have complained several times to the municipality. The mayor himself visited us and saw with his own eyes what is happening in our area, but nothing has been done,” Al-Zahrani said.Muhammad Al-Asmari, a resident of Al-Samir district, said he was sick of the water along the streets that has damaged the asphalt. He called for the immediate pumping of the dirty water to avoid adverse consequences.Many residents looking for homes away from the eastern districts have complained about high rents.They said they had no other option but to pay the rent in order to move away from their dangerous neighborhoods.“I used to pay SR15,000 a year for my apartment in Al-Samir district, but now I have to pay SR22,000 for a smaller apartment in Al-Safa district,” said Hamid Al-Sulami – Arabnews