KUWAIT CITY, Nov 6: MP Thamer Al- Suwait wondered how a rich country like Kuwait could come to a grinding halt due to rainstorm, as a decision to close schools and the entire public sector was issued a few hours after the rain – a manifestation of lack of collaboration between the concerned authorities in managing a crisis.
MPs voiced their demand to hold responsible all those at fault in the Ministry of Public Works and Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART).
The government responded quickly to this demand through a decree issued by State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al- Saleh, prompted by a request from Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Husam Al-Roumi to refer PART Director Ahmed Al-Hesaan for retirement and investigation effective immediately.
This was followed by a decree issued by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak to refer Ministry of Public Works Undersecretary Awatef Al-Ghunaim and two assistant undersecretaries for retirement and investigation for failure to prevent floods.
MPs also pointed out that the government, in the weeks leading up to the rainy season, affirmed the country is fully prepared for this season, but it has been proven other wise. They added the old areas like Ahmadi stood strong as most houses, facilities and roads were not affected by the heavy rains while newer areas were flooded – an indication that the problem lies in the more recent projects which cost the State hundreds of millions of Kuwaiti dinars.
During an emergency meeting with the concerned officials to address the flood crisis, Al-Roumi asserted the crisis caused by the heavy rain is a matter which cannot be tolerated; initiating an investigation to determine who should be held accountable. He affirmed “this responsibility lies on the shoulders of officials at the Ministry of Public Works and PART.”
The minister then extended his gratitude to police officers, firefighters and field inspectors from PART and Kuwait Municipality for their efforts in dealing with the aftermath of the floods. He asked all concerned authorities to submit a detailed report in order to better prepare for such a situation in the future.
Meanwhile, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak stressed that the country is fully prepared to handle any emergency situation which might arise due to heavy rains the country has been witnessing in the past couple of days.
He made the statement during his visit to the Command Center at the Ministry of Interior Tuesday morning, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Lieutenant General Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah, to personally monitor the preparations of all security sectors and efforts being exerted in dealing with the aftermath of the rainstorm.
On the closure of schools and government institutions, HH the Prime Minister explained this decision was taken to make way for the security personnel to efficiently handle flood related cases which, according to a summary provided by senior officers, reached over 1,000 cases.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff