Poor residents forced to continue living in dilapidated buildings



JEDDAH: IBRAHIM NAFFEE

Published — Sunday 24 February 2013

Last update 26 February 2013 3:26 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Poor residents in old Jeddah districts say they have to live in dangerous dilapidated buildings because they cannot afford higher rents in other areas.
Most of the people living in these buildings are from Sudan, Yemen and Pakistan.
“I know I’m living in an old, dangerous building. However, I cannot leave it and look for another apartment. Rents are very high elsewhere. I’m currently paying SR 12,000 a year. Most of my neighbors also have the same problem with money,” said Ali Al-Hajj, a Sudanese resident living in a dilapidated building in south Jeddah.
“If the government asks us to leave our apartments, we will have a big problem finding other cheap housing. We have been living here for 35 years. All my neighbors know their buildings will be demolished one day but there is no another solution for us. We can’t leave our apartments,” said Abdul Aziz Al-Ahdal, a Yemeni resident living in an old building in Al-Nuslah district.
According to construction experts, 10 percent of all buildings in Jeddah’s old areas are a danger to their residents. These buildings need to be renovated, said Abdullah Bakr Radwan, a member of the national committee for construction at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
There are dilapidated buildings in various downtown areas including Baghdadiyah, Nuzla, Hendawiyah and Sabeel districts.
Tala Samrqandi, a member of the real estate committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said: “There are many real estate companies that want to develop old districts in Jeddah. These districts include many old buildings but the main problem is how to offer compensation that will convince them to move.”
He said many building owners are rejecting current offers from buyers because they argue there is not enough money to obtain good housing elsewhere.
“They also know their houses will be five times their current worth if these areas are redeveloped,” he said. Many housing developers have failed to get their projects off the ground because residents are refusing to move, he added.
The Jeddah Municipality revealed recently that it has identified 1,000 sites where there is a threat of imminent collapse.
In 2010, the Jeddah Municipality and the Civil Defense in Makkah region announced that about 2,500 buildings might collapse in an area that was developed 50 years ago.
Brig. Turki Al-Harthi, director of the Civil Defense in Jeddah, said: “There is a special government committee working to check on the safety of old buildings in the Kingdom. We also inform residents of dilapidated buildings to leave so that the buildings can be restored or demolished.”
“Most old buildings in Jeddah were built without considering the nature of the city’s soil and its geography. The lifespan of any building depends on its infrastructure and quality of building materials,” Al-Harthi said.
Heavy rain can also destroy old buildings. Many old buildings in southern Jeddah were destroyed during the massive floods in 2009. These buildings cannot withstand environmental disasters.
Dr. Zohair A. Nawab, president of the Jeddah-based Saudi Geological Survey, said: “Most old buildings in Jeddah were built without taking into account earthquakes or natural disasters. These old buildings were constructed 50 years ago.”
“Engineering offices should check these buildings to see how many can withstand minor earthquakes,” Nawab said.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Employees of the Education Office in Al-Daer governorate, Jazan, where seven people were gunned down on Thursday are in a state of shock and perplexed as to what prompted the attacker — a teacher — to take such an extreme step.The teacher, id...
JEDDAH: The campaign to support Syrian refugees with all their needs is being carried out effectively, as per the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman....
RIYADH: The Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs has ordered the allocation of separate sections for female members of municipal councils.This was announced by Jedaie Al-Qahtani of the ministry. “This is in implementation of Clause 107 of the...
DAMMAM: The 9th Saudi Student Conference which is being held on Feb. 13-14 is sponsored by Umm Al-Qura University and hosted by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was organized by the Scientific Society for Saudi Students in the...
RIYADH: Over the past 10 years, begging in the Kingdom has increased substantially, with the number of organized gangs of expatriate beggars increasing to 85 percent of the total number of beggars, according to Social Affairs Ministry Majed Al-Qassab...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health said it expects its blood donation drive will received 450,000 milliliters (ml) of blood when the Janadriyah festival ends on Feb. 19.Khalid Ibrahim Zobaie, who supervises the blood donation project, said the drive is i...
JEDDAH: The Shoura Council’s decision to reduce working hours in the private sector from 48 hours to 40 hours per week would result in additional operational costs in the sector due to 30 percent higher wages for expat workers, according to Mansour b...
MADINAH: Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman recently visited a number of ongoing developmental project sites in the Holy City, as part of his efforts to ensure that they meet the set standards and deadlines.During the visit, he said that all the s...
RIYADH: The National Guard Ministry is studying the possibility of having two countries as guests of honor each year instead of one at the Janadriyah festival for culture and heritage, the Kingdom’s most prestigious annual festival.This was revealed...
DAMMAM: The Pakistan International School in Alkhobar hosted their 49th annual prize distribution ceremony to honor outstanding students in the presence of Pakistani Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq and his wife, Nighat Manzoor.Haq appreciated the efforts o...
DAMMAM: The Weaam Association for Family Care in the Eastern Province has succeeded in addressing more than 700 cases of family disputes during the last one year.Abdulrahman Al-Khudair, Weaam’s director of public delations, said: “The association off...
JEDDAH: The Nakheel mall case has continued to grab the limelight, with a number of lawyers now offering their services to the girl who was roughed up by some Haia members in Riyadh. Some people also expressed, through social media, their support to...
RIYADH: Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh inaugurated this week a campaign tosafeguard Saudi society against bad influences.“The campaign seeks to immunize society in the Kingdom from deviant ideas as well as utter lies and heresies that could...
RIYADH: A Filipino nurse, from Lamitan Basilan in southern Philippines, has been missing since Feb. 6.According to a co-worker at the clinic where she works, the 43-year-old nurse, a mother of one, was last seen at 3 p.m. on Saturday.“She told us she...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj will put in place new measures for issuing Umrah visas for pilgrims from outside the country with the coordination of the Saudi embassies abroad, a local newspaper reported.The new measures will be implemented soon, given...

Stay Connected

Facebook