As Hayel Street & the western Al-Akamah get rid of flooding sewage When Will There be a Clean Sana’a? [Archives:2001/15/Reportage]

April 9 2001

Jalal Al-Shar’abi
Yemen Times
There has not perhaps been a more complicated problem for the city of Sana’a than that of Water and Sanitation. A problem that has been a stumbling block on the way of strong lasting road infrastructure.
People used to rumor that only foreign hands can rid the city of this problem and construct durable roads. However, the project of the western al-Akamah sewage network changed the token in favor of local hands.
The whole area, which was characterized by garbage here and there and sewage running on the asphalt, has been converted into a cleaner and exemplary one. This great achievement is mostly attributed to al-Rihab Engineering and Contractors Company which won the tender to do the repair-work. The company initiated its project amid rumors that all its efforts would be a failure. However, the great expertise the company is based on the changing of rumors and doubts to words of praise.
Establishing a new sewage net-work in Yemen is no easy task. It requires patience, efforts and experience. Among the difficulties complicating this issue is the large number of cesspools and the random positions of electricity and telephone cables. This, in addition to the crowd of the area helped complicate the problem. Residents of the area are all thankful for the company that allows them to enjoy the fresh air that they have been deprived of for a long time. Shopkeepers along the street expressed delight saying that their sales have increased because many people came to settle in the area. Many people had abandoned the area in order to settle elsewhere because of the unhealthy surroundings caused by the sewage and garbage. Many newspapers looked down upon the company anticipating its failure. But now it has become clear that the company deserves all praise and thanks for this achievement.
The project was initiated in July 1999 and was finalized in December 2000. The deadline for the assigned period was 18 months. In following reports we will be dealing with the sewage and water problem which the Al-Rihab company has shouldered the responsibility of to rid the area.
“The project gave priority to the Al-Akamah area, despite the many difficulties created by the large number of cesspools, random networks, low cables of electricity and telephone, and people’s using cesspools to get rid of the stagnant rain water, etc.,” said Muaied Ismael, engineer of western Al-Akamah sewage network. What added insult to injury is that some sewers and other material were stolen by people during the night, he added. He attributed the success of the project to the qualified and expert cadre who carried out the work and to the high quality of the construction material which were all tested to make sure of their quality. About the same project Majed Agouz, the Consultant Company’s supervisor of the site said ” We made a comprehensive plan for all of Sana’a and presented a report to the authorities concerned. The bid was won by Al-Rihab Company. The report highlighted the bad situation of the city’s sanitation system, especially in the Al-Akamah and Hayel street.” “I wondered how people accepted the fact that drinking water and sewage sewers were very close to one another,” he exclaimed, adding that networking is the best way to avoid contamination. Thanking engineer Essam Makki for solving difficulties, he said the project was finished 4 months ahead of the assigned period. As for the asphalting process, he expected it to be finished during the middle of this month. Khaled Mohammed Farhan, quantity and production engineer at Al-Rehab Company said that the project had been completed, except asphalting the streets leading upto the Vice President’s house and its sub-streets. Abdulqawi Abdullah Al-Muhaya, engineer in charge of the Vice President’s street complained about the random placement of telephone cables and water pipes. However, he said that work was going on properly.
As far as the inhabitants of the area are concerned, their happiness is boundless. “We did not expect such speed in the completion of the project,” said Abdulqader Abdullah, a resident of the area. “We have long dreamt of clean air to breathe,” he added. Cosmetics shopkeeper Waleed Al-Zaghrory said the number of clients had increased, especially after the street was asphalted.
Director of the Sana’a, Taiz, Mukalla and Hodeidah Sewage Project, engineer Essam Makki said the Yemeni contractor proved that he was not less qualified than the foreigner, indicting that the project was accomplished before the assigned period and at less cost. However, he added that the project was extended for 6 months after other new areas in Assiteen Street were included in the same project. He said that the project got a US$ 60 million loan from the Arab Fund and that the first phase of the project would be initiated in Swad Hunaish, Assafyah and Assabaeen areas.
Will work in the other areas to be as successful as Al-Akamah? Let’s hope so!