Urbanisation cause of Al Nahdha flooding

By: Bader Al Kiyumi

MUSCAT: Most of the residents in Muscat and nearest wilayats rejected the idea of shifting Al Nahdha Hospital to another location as the hospital is there for many decades and was not affected by rains, except in the past five years. “The Majlis Ash’shura is looking into reasons why Al Nahda Hospital was not affected by rains (even during Gonu) for many decades in the past. Even during Gonu the damage was not much as compared with the situation in 2012 and 2014 even though Gonu was an exceptional case,” Ahmed al Wahaibi, Majlis Ash’shura member from the Wilayat of Muscat, said.

He said that the findings revealed that the location of the hospital is not the reason why it was affected by flood waters, it is because of the ongoing projects (wastewater and the bridge) surrounding the hospital. He added that the major problem is the companies working on the wastewater and the bridge projects failed to leave a proper outlet for the rain water.

Qais al Mashari, Municipality Council member representing the Wilayat of Muscat, said: “Al Hamriya and Al Nadha Hospital are there for many years, but there are several problems. The major issue is rapid urbanisation and the Ministry of Housing and Muscat Municipality distributed lands and allowed building of houses on the streams leading to the valley.

“Some people who bought 150 square metres plot got extension to more than 300 square metres,” Al Mashari added.

Ahmed al Wahaibi confirmed that Majlis Ash’shura discussed some of the recommendations and sent them to the government authorities concerned.

The main recommendations include identification of responsible authority whether government or private to clarify how much the loss the hospital has incurred and the property damage of individuals and pay them proper compensation. The Majlis member added that recent rains have affected Al Nahda Hospital for the second time for the same reasons “we have heard and there is a government move to transfer the hospital gradually until it is shifted permanently.”

This move may not serve the needs of the people in Muscat, Muttrah and Al Amerat as no other reference hospital is nearby and health centres close at 9 pm.

The government has already spent millions of rials in developing this hospital and now they are going to shift it.

“Sorry, this decision did not help the residents of the wilayats, and if they want to move the hospital what about people who are staying near the hospital. Are they going to move them also?

“We appeal to the government to keep the hospital in its present location, and we request the Ministry of Health to punish the companies which are responsible for the sinking of the hospital. We also call upon the government authorities concerned to speed up the completion of wastewater project, and find proper outlet for rainwater.”

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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