KUWAIT CITY, March 25: Kuwaiti lawmakers have expressed their concern and displeasure when they saw some Kuwaiti areas under water following a heavy rainfall in some parts of the country. The MPs say the government must hold the contractors and workers of the concerned ministry responsible for the ‘floods’.
The lawmakers want to allocate two hours of Tuesday’s session to discuss what causes the flooding of roads and some areas. They have asked the Minister of Public Works Abdul- Rahman Al-Mutawa to present a preliminary report during the debate explaining the reasons for the floods and action taken by the Ministry.
However, the minister said Saturday a Commission of Inquiry from various government agencies such as the Public Authority for Housing Welfare, Ministry of Electricity and Water, the Kuwait University and the Ministry of Public Works has been formed to study the causes of water collection in various areas during Friday’s heavy rainfall.
Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Al-Mutawa disclosed he held an emergency meeting Saturday with the Ministry officials to discuss the causes of this phenomenon. He added those found guilty — contractors or workers from the ministry — will be named and shamed and referred to the Public Prosecution. He said the commission has been asked to submit the report within two weeks.
Earlier, the minister had said some officials in his ministry may be found guilty of dereliction of duty, referring to what happened to the Kuwaiti roads after the rainfall. Speaking to reporters, Al- Mutawa has promised to hold to account all those responsible because the life of citizens was put at risk. “Those guilty will not escape accountability,” he said.
For his part, MP Talal Al- Jalal said what happened to the streets Friday in Fahaheel, Mangaf and Sabahiya cannot be tolerated. All those responsible should be punished and he pointed to the Ministry of Public Works which must be primarily held responsible, he added. Al-Jalal wondered where the millions of dinars allocated by the Public Works Ministry to maintain the roads are spent if the streets of Kuwait are fl ooded by just one hour of rainfall. He called on the government to reward those who risked their lives to save the lives of others and drain the rain water. He also asked the government to compensate those whose cars got damaged by the rain water.
MP Riyadh Al-Adsani stated what happened was a clear case of negligence and lack of willingness to deal with the rain water and put in place radical solutions. He said the Ministry of Public Works must take full responsibility particularly the ministry’s Maintenance Department. He admitted it is the nature we are talking about, “but obviously the problem today is either related to the implementation or poor maintenance.” He added, “Although the Ministry confirmed clearing approximately 90 percent of the drainage system, what we witnessed today is just the opposite.” He showed a desire to submit a parliamentary query in this regard, with particular focus on the maintenance budget. He called on the Minister of Public Works to open an investigation into the incident and punish those responsible because people’s lives are at risk when such incidents occur.
MP Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari asserted areas which were affected included Fahaheel, Mangaf, Sabahiya and other surrounding areas and called on the Minister of Public Works Abdul- Rahman Al-Mutawa to refer those responsible to the Public Prosecution. Meanwhile, MP Issa Al-Kandari blamed the fl ooding on the bad choice of contractors and what he called policy of ‘selfish interests’. He said after the rainfall several roads were dangerous for driving and the fl ying gravel shattered the windshields of so many cars.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff