Karesh areaVirgin land abandoned [Archives:2003/651/Last Page]

July 17 2003

By Farouk Moqbil
For the Yemen Times

Close to the Aden-Taiz highway to the north-east of Bait Hameem area, lies al-Howaima natural hot springs.
The area is approximately 2 km from the main highway. The area is separated by a route formed as a result of the downpours coming from lofty mountains surrounding the area heading for Lahj governorate. One can reach the natural hot springs through a dirt road.
The area is famous for Arak trees, (its roots used for cleaning teeth) that grow alongside the road.
Both, boys and girls earn their subsistence allowance by selling natural cleaning sticks for teeth, shampoo, and other wildlife reptiles for passenger on the Aden-Taiz highway.
In the early morning, one can find such people representing different Yemeni cities.
The first thing that comes to your mind is that the inhabitants are deprived of the essential services.
Only mud-built rooms can be seen along with a warm water cistern used for swimming.
Men can bathe in the morning, while women in the afternoon.
This site has been left as it is and that man has never brought new things to promote this site or invest it as a potential tourist spot.
The whole place is covered with green bushes as a result of waters that come from those hot springs.
The essential constituents are completely lacking of services such as, electricity, hotel services, or cafes, except a very small news agents'' shop.
“No visitors or foreigners have stopped being seen here,” people say.
Despite of its alluring geographical importance, the area is administratively and technically isolated.

Good for therapy
Perhaps, we are in a country where tourism industry hasn't yet improved or that it might be completely wiped out of our memories.
We see with our own eyes some attractive areas which are in reality of great tourist importance and that the Karesh area is among those sites.
What is needed is just an asphalted road which doesn't exceed approximately 2 km along with water outlets.
In order to utilize this strategic spot, essential services, such as electricity, telecommunications, cafes and clubs are also needed.
Ahmed Saif, Ibb governorate, said: “It is regretful to see such conditions deteriorating. Karesh has been still a virgin land. If it is well exploited, millions of rials can be gained.
The land of Karesh along with its natural hot bathing springs and the natural tooth – cleansing stick has featured the area of the availability of those two elements.
Scientists say that the natural cleansing stick for teeth has medical properties good for teeth.
Doctors warn against the excessive use of artificial toothbrush because it causes gingivitis and other diseases. It contains mineral substances and natural but sour taste useful for bad smells coming out from mouth. The fresher the teeth stick is, the better the mouth becomes.
More sorrow than in anger, the Arak tree has been exposed to danger and random use by inhabitants.
Perhaps, the depressing faces of the habitants there, their deteriorating living conditions have made the people turn a blind eye to those two uninvested treasures.
The big problem is that natural hot spring is threatened to be lost as a result of laying a claim over it.
The Yemen of today is in a bad need of the profits of tourism at all levels either at the level of national economy or improving the ways of life or that of the environment and keeping it clean.
All this makes lots of duties, responsibility as well as challenges on part of the government and its concerned bodies.
It requires the government to sincerely and positively move towards establishing an effective policy whose fruits will yield in the near future.
It should also exert efforts to avoid any anticipated negative effects or that ones faced on its way of constructing and developing tourism industry in Yemen.
The negative effects may result from different reasons such as the low-level of planning and absence of government supervision.
If we cast a look on the countries that have got ahead of Yemen in the tourism drive, we will see the great profits those countries have made from tourism. Their economies have actually flourished and become very prosperous.