By Rabab Ayash
Sana’a- Stinking mounds of garbage are piling up on the streets of Sana’a due to municipal service disorder because of the fuel crisis since the beginning of the Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen.
Civilians are complaining of the massive spread of garbage all over Sana’a’s streets. The trash blocks off the roads and makes the movement of vehicles and people difficult. Since municipal services stopped as a result of the lack of fuel, the garbage heaps have started to grow hazardously in front of houses and in the middle of streets. These heaps of garbage have started to produce some chemical substances that are likely to spread diseases in the city.
Many specialists warn of an impending environmental catastrophe due to the total absence of hygiene since collectors stopped their work of garbage gathering a month and half ago.
“Sana’a is teetering on the edge of an environmental disaster,” said Hanan Alwan, a 48-year-old woman interested in environmental issues.
“People’s suffering is countless. Many families do not allow their children to play in the street due to their fear of having their children exposed to the chemical gases produced from the trash. Others are exposed to excess levels of indoor air pollution which results from the lack of proper ventilation,” added Alwan.
Fear of the spread of health problems among residents is an issue that is frequently highlighted by many citizens.
“The neighborhood is full of rubbish and trash and I am afraid it will create some breathing problems for my children. For that reason I prevent my children from going outside until this serious problem comes to an end,” said Salim Ali, a resident in Alwahdah neighborhood in Sana’a.
The garbage can harbor rats and fleas that carry harmful diseases. It is believed that if the concerned authorities do not take actions to stop the catastrophe of waste spread in Sana’a’s streets, the city is likely to witness many serious epidemics and diseases.
“I would prefer to walk along the main street even if that will take me half an hour rather than going through the narrow passageway where the trash has already reached as high as a second-floor window, trash in which countless pests and cockroaches live and breed,” said Ahlam Al-Omari, a resident at Khawlan street in Sana’a.
Not only are adults suffering from the absence of garbage collectors, children are suffering too. “I used to take the garbage to the front of the door of our house, but now I have to carry these heavy plastic bags to the faraway canal,” complained Noof Mohammed, an 8-year-old girl in Al-Asbahi neighborhood.
In spite of many initiatives carried out by a number of clean-up campaigns in different districts of the capital city of Sana’a, garbage heaps are still rising higher day after day.
Many residents believe that the end of the oil crisis in Yemen will mark the beginning of a wide process of detente that will herald several improvements in various fields, including the problem of waste services. They call on all concerned authorities to hasten the safe arrival of diesel and to look at the necessities in the course of the allotment of the fuel to come.