Flood vic­tims want grapes, not the head of the care­taker

Opin­ion One Kuwaiti man dies in flash floods

Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE -

By Ahmed Al-Jar­al­lah

Edi­tor-in-Chief, the Arab Times IN VIEW of the re­cent floods caused by heavy rainfall in Kuwait, we ded­i­cate this story to His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak.

It was nar­rated that Al-Ha­j­jaj ibn Yusuf Al-Thaqafi, a states­man and gov­er­nor of Iraq dur­ing the Umayyad Dynasty, or­dered peo­ple to carry lanterns as they walk the streets of Bagh­dad at night. A no­mad came to the city at night and while he was walk­ing, he was ar­rested by po­lice and in the morn­ing he was charged be­fore the gov­er­nor’s court for not car­ry­ing a lantern.

In his de­fense, he told the gov­er­nor that he did not know about the rule which he vi­o­lated be­cause he was not from the area. Al­though Al-Ha­j­jaj ac­cepted his rea­son, he did not ex­empt him from pun­ish­ment in or­der to pre­vent peo­ple from say­ing that the gov­er­nor is le­nient and for the pun­ish­ment to serve as a de­ter­rent for oth­ers.

It seems this story is re­cur­ring in our com­mu­nity, but in a dif­fer­ent form. Af­ter the down­pour which ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions, calls for the govern­ment to step down and the min­is­ters to re­sign started. Sim­i­lar dis­as­ters oc­curred in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries like Saudi Ara­bia, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, yet we did not hear such de­mands.

In­stead, ev­ery­one em­barked on the task of con­tain­ing the dam­age caused by the rain. The con­cerned au­thor­i­ties de­ter­mined the dam­age and went on to com­pen­sate those af­fected.

In­deed, no one de­nies the need for pun­ish­ment or the search for the source of the prob­lem to avoid it in the fu­ture. How­ever, it is ir­ra­tional to take ad­van­tage of any in­ci­dent and dis­as­ter just to set­tle par­lia­men­tary scores or to in­sti­gate ha­tred against any­one.

Nat­u­ral dis­as­ters oc­cur ev­ery­where in the world, yet we have not heard any­one telling the prime min­is­ter to go home or de­mand for the res­ig­na­tion of a min­is­ter. This is due to the ex­is­tence of in­sti­tu­tional cul­ture and le­gal prin­ci­ples ad­hered to by the peo­ple; but in our coun­try, we find some are scur­ry­ing to chop off the head of the care­taker and leave the grapes to rot.

In le­gal prin­ci­ples, there should be a clear and com­pre­hen­sive in­sur­ance pol­icy cov­er­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, wars and even ri­ots, in ad­di­tion to com­pen­sa­tion paid by the State. In Kuwait, there is suf­fi­cient fund to cover th­ese dis­as­ters and com­pen­sate those whose houses, ve­hi­cles and prop­er­ties

Email: ahmed@al­jar­al­lah.com

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By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb

Arab Times Staff and

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 10: His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Ha­mad Al-Sabah chaired an ex­tra­or­di­nary ses­sion of the Cabi­net at the In­te­rior Min­istry head­quar­ters on Satur­day to fol­low up on the reper­cus­sions of the down­pour wit­nessed through­out the coun­try.

A spe­cial min­is­ters’ ses­sion was held to fol­low up on results of the tor­ren­tial rain and closely ex­am­ine the con­tin­gency plans for cop­ing with the con­di­tions through­out the coun­try for safe­guard­ing peo­ples and prop­er­ties, an­nounced the Deputy Premier and Min­is­ter of State for Cabi­net Af­fairs Anas Al-Saleh.

At the on­set of the ses­sion, His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter greeted the First Deputy Premier and Min­is­ter of De­fense, Sheikh Nasser Sabah AlAh­mad Al-Sabah, on his safe re­turn fol­low­ing his re­cu­per­a­tion abroad.

The min­is­ters ex­am­ined de­tailed re­ports on pre­pared­ness to cope with the ex­tra­or­di­nary sit­u­a­tion.

His High­ness the Premier stressed dur­ing the ses­sion on ne­ces­sity of fol­low­ing up on the prepa­ra­tions to deal with all prospects, in light of the per­sist­ing bad weather.

He has af­firmed that any flaws or cases of com­pla­cency and slack­ness will be pin-pointed, em­pha­siz­ing that of­fi­cials, re­spon­si­ble for the ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties or who have failed to ful­fil their du­ties prop­erly, will be named and shamed.

In­stant in­ter­ro­ga­tions of the slack of­fi­cials will be held, he warned.

Min­is­ter Al-Saleh also an­nounced that the Cabi­net ses­sion will be an open one – to pro­ceed till end of the ex­tra­or­di­nary sit­u­a­tion.

Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Works and Min­is­ter of State for Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs Hus­sam Al-Roumi re­signed on Fri­day fol­low­ing dam­ages caused to prop­er­ties of cit­i­zens and ex­pa­tri­ates as a re­sult of un­prece­dented heavy rainfall in Kuwait re­cently.

Al-Roumi, in his res­ig­na­tion, ex­pressed “deep regret” for the dam­age of prop­er­ties as a re­sult of the heavy rainfall.

“I have sub­mit­ted my res­ig­na­tion to His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter bear­ing my moral re­spon­si­bil­ity and in line with His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter’s ac­count­abil­ity ap­proach,” Al-Roumi said in a state­ment.

Al-Roumi ex­pressed apolo­gies for cit­i­zens and ex­pa­tri­ates for the dam­age they in­curred, and voiced gratitude for His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, his High­ness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter for their sup­port.

He said he had ex­erted every ef­fort to pre­serve pub­lic funds and fight­ing cor­rup­tion as well as im­prov­ing work in the min­istries he held.

Al-Roumi thanked all of­fi­cials in the govern­ment de­part­ments to deal­ing with this

First Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of De­fence re­turned

home on Fri­day fol­low­ing an over­seas treat­ment trip.

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