Socotra’s residents refuse the new road [Archives:2007/1098/Local News]

October 25 2007

Hamed Thabet
SANA'A, Oct. 25 ) Socotra's residents are displeased for the new road project, saying it will destroy the wildlife protectorate

“The budget for new road project in Socotra is around $40 – $50 million and it is 189 Kilometers long and 8 meters wide. The new road is wider than the road from Sana'a to Hodeidah with a capacity for 5 cars.” Said Paul Scholle an expert in Socatra Island.

According to the residents the road does not serve the villages and areas in any way “but instead will endanger 307 rare kinds of plants”. Said Ahmed Suliman, one of the residents in Socotra and Deputy of General Authority.

Nadim Taleb, Director of Natural Protectorate in the Conservation and Development Program in Socotra noted, “The new road will destroy many plants which are unique and not found anywhere else in the world, and as it is a fact that 307 varieties of plants are just in Socotra Island.

“We as a Development program are eager for having coordination before decision is taken on any of these projects.”

He added, “These rare plants are so sensitive and susceptible, and any side reaction or bad action will destroy everything, and then no Socotra will exist.”

“We the Program Committee and residents in Socotra and many Environmental Organizations will do our best to stop this project.

“If they review the republican decision or rule '275' which banned any activities that harms and damage Socotra's wildlife, and this road project is one of the activities that will harm the wildlife, and hence this project must stop immediately.” Noted Taleb.

There are around 40000 people live in Socotra, which is about 400 km from Yemen coast. They live a primitive life and main economic activities on which the population of Socotra relies upon are livestock, fishing, date palm plantations and primitive household gardens, with some minor forms of primarily opportunistic trade.