More tough questioning of Jeddah city officials about the causes of the disastrous flooding. The Deputy Mayor, Ibrahim Kutubkhanah, says that officials were aware of the hazards in rogue developments in different parts of the city, primarily the east and south, and had been warning about them. They have also been doing assessments, drawing up plans, and requesting funds from the central government. He estimates that it will take SR 7 billion (US $ 1.87 billion) to complete drainage plans for the city.
Deputy Mayor blames flood disaster on lack of sufficient funds
JEDDAH – Residents are venting their anger at city officials as the death toll from last week’s flood rises to 107, with 1,400 people having to be rescued.
“They didn’t make the drainage work. They have told us for three years or more that it was completed,” said human rights lawyer Walid Abu Al-Kheir.
A city official has responded by saying that they are waiting for funds to complete the drainage network. Only 30 percent of the city is protected with proper drainage.
Eng. Ibrahim Kutubkhanah, deputy mayor of Jeddah, said that the network in the flood-damaged areas, east of the city, would need at least SR1.2 billion worth of projects to fix.
Following our grilling of the mayor yesterday, we now ask for further answers from Kutubkhanah, in this exclusive interview.