The big test
People love winter and the rainy season, since we rarely get rain. But this year, heavy rainstorms flooded several major roads in Kuwait on Friday and Saturday, for the second time in days. The rains are a big test for government bodies like the ministry of public works, the roads authority and municipality, especially with meteorologists expecting rainfall to continue. Some roads were closed because of waterlogging and some streets and parking lots were flooded. Streets and main roads also witnessed a presence of heavy security and traffic police.
The ministry of social affairs has opened shelters for people, which is a good step in such cases, but people have remained indoors to protect their homes and themselves. I believe you have to protect yourself and your children from danger by following some instructions, and the first is never take risks. Those on the streets during heavy rain must remain in a safe place until the end of the rainfall due to the risk of torrential floods. Also, do not allow anyone in your family to swim in the rainwater, and you must prevent your children from going out to play during heavy rainfall.
Most important is to follow the news and official media channels’ warnings about the possibility of heavy rain or flooding, and the instructions and guidance by the ministry of interior. Newspapers have published some analyses of the causes of the floods and drainage failures. Some have blamed the municipality because drainage chambers in all parts of the country have become waste dumps. The accumulation of large amounts of waste means no access for the rainwater, causing a decline in the efficacy of the network.
Some called for the importance of changing the municipality’s plan to collect garbage during expected rain, to be transported to designated places so as not to drift on the streets. I think the role of the municipality is no less important than the role of the ministry of public works and the roads authority - it should not be seen merely as a waste-disposal body.
Some people have blamed contractors, and even shared pictures showing several potholes on the recently-opened Jahra bridge after the surface asphalt layer eroded due to the rain. Some activists questioned what will happen to the bridge after several years, demanding the need to review the file of the contractors. Every government body is responsible for its duties, but most important is the need to look at the role of contractors and follow up the work they perform. People’s lives are not something that should be jeopardized.