Bahrain launches major clean-up drive
Manama, February 16, 2012
Bahrain launched a nationwide clean-up operation yesterday (February 15) after rioters caused havoc on the first anniversary of last year's unrest.
Sanitation staff worked round the clock in a bid to clear debris, illegal roadblocks and gutted rubbish bins.
It came a day after masked youths barricaded roads with tyres, bricks and lampposts amid calls to increase street violence and march to the former GCC (Pearl) roundabout to mark the anniversary.
However, cleaning firms were worried about the safety of their staff as they went out in force in trouble spots.
Sphinx Services revealed it switched its cleaning rotations to 8am from 3.30am after its staff were attacked and threatened.
"We were going for collection by 3.30am but now we changed the time to 8am," said owner and managing director Hussain Kamal.
"Three of our staff members were threatened and beaten by thugs in Bani Jamra a week ago and there was another complaint by a staff yesterday. He was lucky to escape from vandals who attacked him. It is not safe to go and collect rubbish from troubled areas.”
"We now have 1,600 workers working for us, 500 per shift, compared to 300 per shift earlier. We cover the Central, Southern and Northern governorates. The cleaners are afraid to go to these areas now and they say they don't want to risk their lives. It was a little better yesterday but the cleaners had to clear the road barricades in some areas,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gulf City Cleaning Company (GCCC) said it beefed up its security and paid staff overtime as it dispatched them to trouble spots in the heart of the country.
However, officials said the cleaning operation suffered delays due to ongoing illegal road blockages in some areas.
"Everything was fine for the past few days but rubbish collectors suffered delays due to road blockades," said general manager James Adrian Cockrem. – TradeArabia News Service