Bahrain to compensate for rain damage
Manama, December 21, 2011
Families across Bahrain whose homes suffered damage in torrential rains and heavy flooding at the end of last month will be compensated, said a senior government official.
Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi urged people whose homes suffered damage despite being waterproofed by the government to come forward, saying properties would be inspected and assessed before necessary action was taken.
He also asked people to visit the ministry's headquarters, near Bab Al Bahrain, in Manama, if they had experienced problems. However, he added that contractors who had carried out inefficient waterproofing were liable for the damage - and would have to compensate families for damage under a 10-year guarantee.
He made the comments in parliament during urgent discussions by MPs on government plans to cope with rains.
The minister was answering on behalf of Works Minister Essam Khalaf, who is abroad.
"We are not mainly concerned with rain problems, we are a support ministry for the Works Ministry, which is completely responsible," said Dr Al Ka'abi.
"The Works Ministry has allocated 90 locations for rain drainage within roads and neighbourhoods and, as I have been told, the first phase has been completed.
"The government spends BD200,000 ($530,400) annually on renting tankers to drain rainwater and these 35 tankers were deployed. Bahrain's two private cleaning companies have also helped us a lot by draining water without it being stated in their contracts."
He said waterproofing of 6,819 homes had taken place since 2006 - each with a 10-year guarantee.
"People with complaints can visit the ministry and we will have contractors fix everything, including compensating them for damaged furniture and electrical appliances," added Dr Al Ka'abi.
Meanwhile, Works Ministry assistant under-secretary for sanitary affairs Khalifa Al Mansoor admitted rain drainage had never been a priority.
"Sewage networks cover 92 per cent of the country, but we have to admit rain drainage has never been a priority despite being under the ministry's duties, considering that the rain rate in Bahrain is low," he said.
"The 90 locations across the country for rain drainage as planned with Bahrain's five municipal councils have been increased to 110, with 27 locations already being completed as a part of the first phase. We expect work to be completed by early 2013."
He said the rain drainage project was costing millions of dinars and couldn't be done at once. – TradeArabia News Service