For some reason, three government agencies are in charge of the state’s main and secondary roads, rainwater and waste streams.
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On the one hand, the Ministry of Public Works takes care of part of the state’s roads, mostly internal roads, within the boundaries of the Fourth Ring Road. The Public Authority for Roads & Transportation supervises the external highways including construction and maintenance. The Kuwait Municipality also supervises and maintains all sidewalks. As for the sewers of the roads and other areas, they also fall under the authority of the Ministry of Public Works as they are part of the infrastructure that they design and build along with the roads. All this caused unnecessary confusion on more than one side, but this is another matter.
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Kuwait became famous as ‘Kuwait of Humanity’, and many people have become inclined to regard Kuwait as the country of humanity, but if we do not really care about humanity of the people working among us and with us, especially the most vulnerable who need us in particular, and among those are workers who are entrusted with the task of cleaning the rainwater passageways throughout the year, including all forms of garbage such as food scraps, dead animal carcasses, and dirt ﬁnding its way into these sewers, and everything that cannot be imagined.
The Ministry of Public Works assigns the task of cleaning sewers usually days before the rainy season, to several companies, but under the pressure of ﬁerce competition between the cleaning companies, and the pressure of the disastrous system related to awarding the tender at the lowest prices, the weaker party is paying the price of that war.
The African proverb says, when elephants ﬁght, weeds pay the price, and ultimately tens of thousands of cleaners pay the price of such pricing war between cleaning companies especially those related to sewer cleaning, the process that these people perform instead of specialized cleaning machines that can do the job professionally and efﬁciently but at a slightly higher cost, and much less dangerous to the lives of these workers who go down to clean the sewers and expose themselves to high risks, the least of which is disease and dizziness, and consequently the risk of death by suffocation, and this is not an exaggeration.
Providing sewage cleaning machines is essential and vital, as they provide distinguished service throughout the year. We are not surprised by the rainfall in the off-season, and the ﬂooding and closure of roads. We do not want to put the lives of the poor workers at risk, and most importantly, since these specialized machines can clean the sewage of all the excreta that hangs in it and dispose of it properly, and not dump a large part of it outside the manhole as is happening now so that the rains come a day or two later and return it to the same place.
We hope that the distinguished Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works, Engineer Ismail Al-Failakawi will look early at this issue in preparation for the next year 2020/2021 season because using such machines will have mercy on the workers and reduce their numbers, and encourage the future citizen to work on this task by managing these delicate cleaning machines.
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By Ahmad alsarraf