Hadhramout Deputy Governor to Yemen Times: “About 15 hotels have been built so far, some are 5-star hotels.” “..we have received a lot of offers from Saudi and Gulf investors to invest in Hadhramout.” [Archives:1999/32/Interview]
Districts in Wadi Hadhramout have begun the necessary arrangements needed for the development process. One of the great moves made in this regard is the new administrative division which prescribes supporting all the 29 provinces centers. To know more about the advantages of such a division, the Yemen Times Aden Bureau Chief, Radhwan Al-Saqqaf, went to Hadhramout and met with Mr. Mohsin Ahmad Ben Shamlan, Hadhramout Deputy Governor, and had the following interview with him:
Q: Can you tell us about what have been achieved in Hadhramout so far?
A:Despite the lack of the financial resources and the difficulties we face we have been able to make a good step in Hadhramout. For example, we have helped the people peacefully get back their properties and the first thing we began with was the trading houses. Regarding the buildings, %60-%70 of them have been returned to their real owners. What blocks us in this regard is that most of the residents in the remaining buildings are unable to move because they can not afford for building on their pieces of lands given to them as compensation. The period prescribed to these residents to leave has elapsed but due to the reason mentioned the governor has ordered to give them a one-year extension with a little raise in the rent to satisfy the owners. During the extension period, we will try to build apartments for people with low income. The Government, on its side, is also participating in the efforts made to help these people by giving them pieces of lands to build on.
Q: Some people complain that a piece of land is given to more than one person. What is your comment?
A: Of course some problems do erupt during the compensation process. For example, some beneficiaries do not know the exact location of the pieces of lands given to them. There is a Society to look for solutions to such problems. This Society is supported by many organizations as well as the government to build more public apartments.
Q: Can you give us an idea about the other projects in the governorate?
A: During 98-99, YR 13.525.000.000 was spent on the service projects specially the infra-structure, face-lifting Saioun and Thamoud airports plus other airports, and other projects related to the electricity and water services in Al-Mokalla. In the coming tow months, the Saioun-Tareem and Tareem-Thamoud roads will be re-asphalted. This project will cost $ 2.000.000. In Tareem we have inaugurated Tareem Water project which cost YR 2.000.000.000. Regarding the agricultural projects, there are three.
$12.000.000 is allocated to improving Wadi Hagar in Tareem. The other tow projects are in Hadhramout.
Q: How much is the investment in Hadhramout? What are the obstacles the investors face?
A: Many schools have been built, besides, there is an intention to build Hadhramout University which will comprise 8 collages. As far as the investment in the governorate is concerned, it is mostly devoted to building apartments and tourist hotels. About 15 hotels have been built so far, some are 5-star hotels. Investors, in fact, face little problem which can be easily overcome. In this regard, we have received a lot of offers from Saudi and Gulf investors to invest in Hadhramout.
Q: Do you face any problems?
A: Unfortunately, some irresponsible engineers try to give out the estates as they like. To avoid such irresponsible practices, the Governor gave orders to stop giving out the estates in the governorate and made me a head of a special committee to look into this matter. The General director of Housing was also chosen as a member. To our astonishment, we found that many projects had been canceled.
Q: What about Al-Mokalla’s Harbor?
A: Al-Mokalla Harbor is very small and its equipment is out of date. This led the traders to change to Al-Hodaidah or Aden Harbors in order to carry their goods. President Saleh has expressed his interest in building a modern harbor in Al-Mokalla and Broom, an area between Hadhramout and Shabwa, has been chosen for this purpose.
Q: Some fishermen complain that a lot of fishing companies illegally work in our regional water, is this right?
A: In fact, in the absence of the coast guards, these companies find a good chance to approach our regional water and carry out illegal activities in it.