Village south of Qunfudah fights off baboon invasion

Updated 03 February 2013
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Village south of Qunfudah fights off baboon invasion

A minor war has broken out south of Qunfudah in the village of Kiad where large groups of hungry baboons from nearby valleys are attacking residences in search of food and drink. Residents have employed a variety of methods to combat the primates but it is still a daily battle from sunrise to sunset.
Hussein Al-Barakati, a resident of Kiad, said that he feared for his mother’s safety as she lives alone near the valley. Baboons raid her home from time to time in search of water. Weather conditions have left the valley parched and prompted the baboons to forage among the humans.
Hussain said that he did not find it inconceivable that a major disaster would strike the village because of baboons invading people’s homes, noting that some of the animals are quite large.
Adel Medini, from the town of Helli, has his own take on the recent scourge of baboons: “It’s a daily game of hide and seek. The baboons are targeting empty houses and are well aware of what they are doing. The assault on the village is not random, as some believe. They proceed according to studied plans. That’s why their attacks do not fail. For example, imagine a resident who is absent from their home for a period of time. Even though it’s just one day, he is surprised to return to find his home in disarray. Some people in this situation thought that thieves had broken into and ransacked their houses … The problem is that the village’s houses are old and non-roofed, and our daily guest is hungry.”
Salem Al-Barakati said that the main reason that the baboons are difficult to stymie is because of their high intelligence. They easily match wits with those out to drive them away.
Mayor of Helli, Ali Al-Qarni, explained that the baboons arrive in the winter and migrate away in the summer. They live on the slopes of the mountains, and they descend to the valley in the winter to search for food and drink.
He attributed the assaults on residences to the Kiad weekly market where vendors leave vegetable and fruit out to rot, attracting the hungry baboons. The houses attacked, he said, were close to the market.
Al-Qarni explained that the municipality continues to exterminate the baboons by putting poison in bananas. The method was originally successful but the baboons figured it out and stopped eating the poisonous bananas. “We try to change the method from time to time,” he said.


Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
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Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.