The flood disaster that afflicted Jeddah earlier this year, was the second to hit the city in 15 months. The western Saudi city lost around 17 billion riyals after this disaster.
Reports indicate that the infrastructure in Jeddah needs investments that can cost up to 45 billion riyals. The damages on the ground pushed the government to address this issue.
ARAMCO, a leading company in Saudi Arabia, is running a rain and flood discharging project to target this problem. The project manager, Engineer Ahmed Al Selim, has more to tell us about this project.
Al Selim: “This is a photocopied image of Jeddah. Our project is divided into three sections. The first section is concerned with the flood banks that lie at mountainous areas. We have 15 watersheds that are now being studied by our team. The second section of the project addresses the issue of discharging floods through main channels. The third section deals with collecting water from neighborhoods and discharging it through main channels.”
According to Mr. Selim, the flooding issue in Jeddah can be addressed in two stages. The first stage consists of implementing urgent actions so as to solve the problem before next winter, while the second stage includes formulating permanent solutions that tackle the problem from its origins.
Our second stop was at King Abdullah Road, at which the water levels were too high during the last rainy season.
Mansour: “There are four critical areas at King Abdullah Road that need immediate solutions before next winter. This is a topographic survey for the water levels in one of these critical points.”
From King Abdullah road, we move on to Al Raghama east of Jeddah, where floods have caused a lot of damage due to the absence of adequate infrastructure to stop rain floods coming from mountains valleys.
Ahmad: “we have 15 water ponds lying on an area up to eight thousand kilometers in valleys at the east of Jeddah, that stretch from northern Usfaan valley towards the southern Fatima valley. We are conducting Hydrologic and hydraulic studies so as to find the best solutions.” Executive committee has presented immediate resolutions in two areas, Al Sammer and Um Al Khair. Their Resolutions consists of building dams outside urban areas in order to collect water and then transfer it in an easy and efficient ways.
Working on sites resumes for 24/7. Nine contractors are still competing to get the other 12 resolutions. July 3rd is the day of submitting all bids, under an official commitment to implement these solutions.
Prince Khalid: “As a project manager, I won’t relax or enjoy my time until all neighborhoods in Jeddah reach the same levels as the city’s finest neighborhoods the same level of the neighborhoods where I live personaly.”
In the meantime the people of Jeddah are anxious about next winter and hope that the government will be able to solve the issue.