SR 7.8 bn cleaning projects under way

Updated 09 July 2013

SR 7.8 bn cleaning projects under way

An overall sum of SR 7.8 billion has been allocated over the years for various cleaning projects, including hygienic waste burials tailored according to set technical standards to avoid the risks associated with environmental pollution, according to a report released by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.
The report, highlighting the cleaning projects being implemented in all parts of the Kingdom, said the number of projects awarded during the current Hijri year stood at more than 100 including 18 projects for the management and operation of waste burials at the cost of SR 294 million and another 9 projects for supervision and consultancy services at SR 138 million.
The cost of cleaning projects is increasing at the rate of 5-8 percent per year due to the construction boom, population growth, city expansions in addition to the increased development in the industrial and commercial sectors, which brought quantities of municipal waste to nearly 13 million tons of different kinds of waste, the report said.
Per capita production of municipal waste in the Kingdom exceeds 1.3 kilogram on a daily basis while the number of beneficiaries from hygiene projects Kingdom-wide is more than 22.3 million people, the report said.
The ministry is committed to ensuring global standards regarding municipal waste and burial sites, which have been set up in all parts of the Kingdom in accordance with environmental requirements for the safe disposal of waste, taking into consideration weather conditions of the Kingdom, it said.
According to the report, the ministry prepared a comprehensive database for burial sites and means of operation in a bid to avoid the existence of multiple and random waste processing burials that might distort the land and surrounding environment.
The value of cleaning contracts, whose terms sometimes extend five years, is exceeding more than SR 1.68 billion every year and are normally subject to unified specifications and conditions approved by the concerned departments to implement clean projects, including waste disposal, the report said.

Home alone: Saudis and expats try to beat the holiday blues

Updated 16 min 37 sec ago

Home alone: Saudis and expats try to beat the holiday blues

  • People celebrating Eid alone or abroad find ways to stay positive

JEDDAH: For different reasons many people living in the Kingdom have found themselves alone for the holidays due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, their spirits dampened as they are forced to stay home alone, away from loved ones.

As the pandemic enters its third month in Saudi Arabia, flights have not yet resumed, strict social distancing and safety measures are still in place and curfews have been reimposed to curb the spread of the virus during the Eid holidays.

Many families are stranded in cities across the Kingdom, while Saudis studying and working abroad are either stuck or have chosen to spend summer where they are out of fear they will not be able to return and start their new semesters.

Some people were able to move in with their families and quarantine together, while others were deprived of that chance.

A number of Saudi nationals, including students, have been repatriated in the past couple of weeks while others are still waiting for their turn.

Yousef Al-Ayesh, a 21-year-old senior student at Arizona State University, has been at home since late March as a precautionary measure.

He said that Eid with his family in Jeddah was one event that everyone looked forward to all year long. Under normal circumstances the first three days of Eid would be filled with events — family dinners at night and beach excursions during the day. Although he would be sleep-deprived, he would still make the most of the little time he spent with his family due to his studies.

“With all that’s going on, it doesn’t even feel like it’s Eid,” he told Arab News. 

“It most probably would have been different if I was back in Saudi Arabia but I still wouldn’t have been able to celebrate it the same way. It’s not that bad here (in the US) now since restaurants have reopened and my friends and I have the outdoors to enjoy, have a barbecue, or just hang out. I would have felt worse if I was alone. Ramadan was already odd enough, I don’t think I would have been OK if it were the case without them.”

Although his family lives 8,000 miles away he did not feel alone as his group of friends decided to celebrate together, even without the perks of new clothes and eidiyas from aunts and uncles.

It’s an exceptional year for us and one that is teaching us a lesson on various levels, but we must adapt either way.

Fareed Abdullah Fareed

Al-Ayesh hoped to be repatriated to the Kingdom soon and spend some time with his family after his mandatory quarantine.

Fareed Abdullah Fareed, a 29-year-old expat working and living in Riyadh, said this year’s Eid was tough without his family.

Although he is used to living alone because of his job, Eid was the one occasion he looked forward to the most every year because he got to travel to Cairo and be with his family.

“My family moved from Jeddah to Cairo about four or five years ago and Eid is a significant occasion in the family, Eid Al-Fitr is significantly more special than Eid Al-Adha even,” he told Arab News. “I look forward to traveling to see them every year since moving to Riyadh but wasn’t able to with the lockdown, so we all got together on FaceTime video call and spent the whole day speaking to family members.”

Like many expats, Fareed has spent the past months at home and said it was hard for him and his family but that communication had made the ordeal slightly easier.

“It’s an exceptional year for us and one that is teaching us a lesson on various levels, but we must adapt either way,” he added.