The National Water Company (NWC) has started installing sewer lines at homes in Jeddah’s north-central area and said it would finish connecting 132,000 homes to the municipal sewer system by the end of 2015 as scheduled, when the phased operation of the system is set to start.
Not Raising a Stink in Jeddah
This little piece of news will be coming as a relief to many residents of Jeddah who live in large apartment buildings in the city, most of the time you don’t notice anything with the waste from the building but when the truck comes to pump out the tanks and you happen to be at home… I think you get the drift..
But this is not really the main reason that I am happy about this piece of news, the last few years when the rains have come they have caused widespread flooding within the city causing millions in damage and of course unfortunately leading to loss of life. The loss of life reported in previous years is I think seriously under reported as I have people that I worked with and friends that helped with some of the rescue and clean up operations and they were all reporting hundreds of bodies, much more than anything reported in the news.
But you say, this is for sewage not rain water; if you had to drive through some of these areas after the flood you will know why I think this is very welcome news. The flood water manages to find its way into many of the tanks and causes them to overflow spilling the contents into the streets. The subsequent smell is believe me not that pleasant, and I certainly would not want to be wading in the waters.
Rescuing friends from a river of poop!
The first year I was in Jeddah (first week I think) one of my friends called me at 2am during the worst of the flooding that year; his car had broken down in the waters and he could not get it going, he was in the middle of the road with waters rising and his children were in the car (Saudis like to go out till late at the weekend). So off I drive trying to follow his directions to where he was stranded in the pouring rain, it took me over an hour to eventually find him as I was driving along the wrong road initially. When I did get to him the water was up to the bottom of the doors on his car and he and his children were sat on the back seat trying to stay dry, but this was far from the worst of it; floating past was the worst looking and smelling sludge you could imagine.
How none of us threw up as we transferred from his car to mine I will never know, thankfully my car was a little higher than his and we managed to avoid the “water” from going into my car as we transferred through rear windows rather than open doors. Believe me no one wanted to put any part of their body in that water!
On a serious note it is a pity that the authorities in Jeddah have allowed so much construction in unsuitable areas without considering fully the infrastructure before they started, a little forward planning would have prevented many problems; its not like they don’t have the money to do it!