The Municipality Department was established in 1930 and the services it provided included garbage collection and transporting it using locally made wooden carts drawn by donkeys. Each cart was operated by a garbage collector.
During those days, the municipal donkeys were very spoiled and lived a ‘comfortable’ life at special ranches, where workers cleaned and fed them. They also had limited working hours. I still remember reading the municipality’s statement of annual expenses and revenues issued in 1936. The statement included the cost of feeding donkeys, purchasing fodder and paying donkey attendants’ salaries.
Some other spoiled donkeys used to be ridden by well-off people, and each of them had a special worker to take care of it and lead it while carrying the master and shading the master under the soaring sun or rain. Such spoiled donkeys, namely those of the municipality, used to bray a lot, making very loud noises. They also used to kick each other all the time. They used to be restless because of the ‘luxury’, comfort and abundant food they enjoyed.
On the other hand, other donkeys used in transporting heavy loads such as gypsum, clay, mud and water were very ‘underprivileged’ and were hungry most of the time. They were less fortunate. They had scarred backs resulting from their heavy loads and worked monotonously and constantly without breaks, except on Eid days when they were dyed with henna and rented out to children who wanted to ride them for fun, paying the owner a baiza per ride!
They used to be restless because of the ‘luxury’, comfort and abundant food they enjoyed