By: Almigdad Mojalli [Archives:2008/1189/Local News]

September 11 2008

President instructs building of school, mosque and health unit in Al-Dhafeer
SANA'A, Sept. 10 ) President Ali Abdullah Saleh directed the government to build a mosque, school and health unit in Al-Dhafeer village 42 km from Sana'a. This came during his visit to the village that was exposed to a rockslide in December 2005.

During the visit which took place last Sunday, the president was briefed on the progress of the construction of residential units and found around 80 percent of the construction to be complete.

Al-Dhafeer was exposed to a rockslide that killed 65, mostly women and children, and crushed approximately 16 houses on 28 December 2005. At the time, the Saudi prince, Al-Waleed Bin Talal, expressed his commitment to reconstructing the damage.

According to the villagers, Bin Talal has since built 100 residential units and a water network to provide the villagers with clean water. The units are now more than enough for the villagers, as most of those who were inside houses during the rockslide were killed and only their relatives survived.

Although a second landslide would be a serious threat to their lives, villagers who survived the rockslide refuse to leave their houses under the mountain. According to Khalid Nasser Al-Hajeri, one of the villagers, “Some of the houses which are under the mountain weren't crushed by the rockslide and, though many residents left the village to stay away from the mountain, many others refuse to move and are waiting for new houses.”

After the rockslide, the government allocated aid and compensation for the damaged villagers. However, many complain that some government employees, who were distributing aid, allegedly prevented some of the aid from reaching the villagers under the pretext that some of the villagers were pretending to be part of those who were affected while in reality they weren't.

“Initially, the affected people received everything but, when the government employees suspected some of the villagers were just being greedy, they cancelled many things,” Al-Hajeri said.