Saudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures

Rapid intervention teams had been positioned to cover important sites, the central area and densely populated buildings. (SPA)
Updated 08 May 2019
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Saudi Civil Defense announces Ramadan security measures

  • An emergency plan has been rolled out

RIYADH: Civil Defense chiefs in Makkah have put in place strict security measures to ensure the safety of pilgrims and Saudi citizens during the month of Ramadan.

An emergency plan, approved by Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, has been rolled out, with specially trained personnel deployed to deal with any potential threats to safety over the fasting period.

Brig. Abdullah Al-Qurashi, director of Civil Defense in Makkah, said there were 38 fixed civil defense centers, supported by 24 seasonal centers, in addition to 27 intervention points and 30 civil defense posts stationed in The Grand Mosque in Makkah to provide aid and assistance to pilgrims.

He added that rapid intervention teams had been positioned to cover important sites, the central area and densely populated buildings.

“Preventive supervision teams were deployed in markets, malls and holy sites supported by vehicles and technical equipment,” the brigadier said. 

Scout volunteers

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, met Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Abu Dujain, head of the scout camp being used to serve pilgrims in Makkah, and a number of scout volunteers who will be working in The Grand Mosque.

Al-Sudais hailed the efforts of the scouting organization during Ramadan. “The volunteering services offered by the scout members in the Two Holy Mosques have contributed, along with the other efforts exerted by the competent government sectors and entities, to enable visitors to perform their rituals with ease, tranquility and spirituality,” he said. 

Abu Dujain thanked Al-Sudais for his encouraging words and highlighted the excellent cooperation between the Saudi scouting association and a number of sectors that has helped to ensure the comfort of pilgrims, visitors and worshippers.

Quality services

Pilgrims at the Prophet’s Mosque have thanked King Salman for the services provided for them by government agencies in Madinah.

Visitors praised security measures, comfort facilities and the guidance they received during their journeys.

Al-Ibrahimi Yaalu, from Algeria, expressed his joy at visiting the mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, and praised the Saudi government for the services he had encountered since his arrival in the Kingdom.

Yazid Rashid, from Iraq, praised the services in the health centers set up to take care of visitors from around the globe. In addition, he highlighted the organization of the country’s transport and communications links, especially those connecting the nation’s airports to the center of Madinah.

Dr. Fahim Babu, who had traveled from India, stressed that the  good services were the outcome of years of consistent efforts and good planning. Magdy Dabbas, another pilgrim from Jordan, who resides in Jeddah, said that he visited the mosque annually, and that the transport links and assistance on offer improved every year.

There was also high praise for the king, government and local authorities from pilgrims from as far away as Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan, with many thousands of Muslims traveling from across the world to Saudi Arabia to attend prayers at the mosque during Ramadan.


Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. (SPA)
Updated 22 September 2019

Clean sweep: Marine waste targeted in Red Sea tourism program

  • Debris major cause of death for marine life
  • Disintegration of plastic waste threaten human food resources

JEDDAH: A beach cleanup program targeting marine waste has been launched by the Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The firm, which is behind the development of a luxury seafront tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, is already developing a range of environment-friendly policies such as zero-waste-to-landfill, zero-discharge-to-the-sea, zero-single-use plastics, and achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality. On Saturday it launched the Marine Debris Beach Clean Up Program as part of the Red Sea Project. “Eliminating marine debris is receiving increasing attention from the media that it has become a global cause, urging us to participate in protecting our virgin environment for which our seafront is known,” said TRSDC CEO John Pagano.
“The program for eliminating marine debris will play an important material and moral role with the support of the residents of areas surrounding the seafront. It will also shed light on the importance of reducing the use of nonrecyclable plastics, in addition to encouraging the disposing of these substances in a safe and sustainable manner.”
The TRSDC will continue to explore ways for recycled materials to be a source of employment opportunities for the area’s residents, he added. 
TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land. It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

HIGHLIGHTS

• TRSDC is an official partner of the United Nations’ initiative to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cleanup program will initially support two SDGs: Life Below Water and Life on Land.

• It will expand to support other SDGs, including Responsible Consumption and Production, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Decent Work and the Growth of the Economy, Ending Poverty, and Quality Education.

• Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach cleanup program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject

Dr. Rusty Brainard, chief environment officer at TRSDC, said: “Marine debris causes significant damage to the environment and is a major cause of death for many marine organism species, which may ingest these substances. Moreover, the disintegration of plastic waste into small pieces that penetrate into the food web base may also threaten human food resources. Our program for eliminating marine litter is a long-term project that includes ongoing monitoring of environmental health, as well as periodic intervention to clean up any waste in the Red Sea Project.”
TRSDC has teamed up with leading academic institutions in the Kingdom, such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Tabuk, on a number of educational initiatives, added Brainard.
The partnership between TRSDC and KAUST has led to an international competition — “Brains for Brine” — that encourages academics, scientists, engineers and the water industry to find solutions for managing the disposal of brine, which is a waste product of water desalination, in a sustainable and commercially viable way.
KAUST has also helped TRSDC with marine spatial planning for the Red Sea Project.
As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.
The final master plan, which preserves around 75 percent of the destination’s islands for conservation and designates nine islands as sites of significant ecological value, required several redesigns to avoid potential disruption to endangered species native to the area.
Institutions or individuals wishing to take part in the beach clean-up program can find more details here: www.act4sdgs.org/partner/TheRedSeaProject