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Abha village lacks basic services.

SNOOZING: The Bani Amro health center that closes its doors at midnight.

ABHA: The village of Bani Amro in Abha is still waiting for the implementation of the projects that will provide its residents with basic services. The inhabitants have been paying fees for Internet service, despite interrupted services, and have been making demands. Their complaints have gone unaddressed due to bureaucracy. The 10,000-odd inhabitants of Bani Amro, which neighbors Al-Namas, are still waiting for the most basic services and elements of development to make it to their village. Al-Namas, a mere 45 km from Bani Amro, does enjoy such services. Bani Amro inhabitants often hear about he Internet and 3G services, but are yet to experience them themselves, even though they are paying for such services. Sick villagers from Bani Amro fare even worse. In case of need, they have to travel a great distance to a hospital in Al-Namas. Saleh Abdullah of Bani Amro blamed the Ministry of Health of stalling the implementation of the hospital in the village despite the fact that land was allocated for the hospital to serve the residents of the area. The existing, inefficient, health center established 60 years ago closes it doors at midnight, "as though residents cannot get ill in the late hours of the night," he said. He said the Bani Amro sick are forced to travel 90 km to and from Al-Namas Hospital, which provides some services and 24-hour emergency facilities. But during the summer holidays, patients have to wait more than an hour for their turn to see a doctor. Abdullah said the road linking Bani Amro to Al-Namas is dangerous and often shrouded in heavy fog, which results in numerous accidents. Mohammed Gharman said he finds it odd that there is no emergency center in Bani Amro, despite the fact that the population exceeds 10,000 people. He said citizens have been demanding that such a center be established for years, and were promised it on numerous occasions, to no avail. Khaled Al-Omari said the absence of such a center is essentially proof of neglect of the lives of residents there. Residents of Jam'ea Qura Al-Moqasara, Al-Qafar, Al-Hamed, Al-Nabeela and Al-Saleem have also been complaining for 10 years about the poor conditions they live in. Despite submitting complaints to the municipalities of Al-Namas and Bani Amro to widen the road, it still allows for only one car to pass at a time. Similarly, Internet services remain poor, citizens claim, despite numerous complaints and requests filed, and fees paid. Numerous calls to service providers have gone unaddressed, while a representative from the Saudi Telecom Company said the mobile tower in Bani Amro is in need of additional segments to enhance the network. Work along Al-Namas-Bani Amro road has resulted in cutting the fiberglass line of the main network several times, the Saudi Telecom representative said, adding that no official complaint has been filed with the company by families in Bani Amro. A source at the Ministry of Transport attributed the delays of Al-Namas-Al-Sarh-Bani Amro road project, which was supposed to be completed six years ago, to problems related to cemeteries, compensation, and the work of the electricity and telecom companies. He said the project is 75 percent complete, and is expected to be completed within about a year and a half. The spokesman of the General Directorate of Health Affairs in Bisha, Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, denied that there are instructions to establish a hospital in Bani Amro, but said this is part of the development projects, which require updating of older projects.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 22, 2016
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