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Shar'ab Al-Rawnah between Government Negligence and Sheikhs' Oppression
  Written By: Mahmoud Taher Abu Khalifa (FOR THE YEMEN POST)
  Article Date:
January 12, 2009



If you wish to visit Taiz's Shar'ab Al-Rawnah district, you need to smell what the garbage dumps that Shar'ab has to offer. Simply, the garbage of Taiz city, companies and factories are dumped in the area.

What invites laughter is what a senior state official said about the dump area as he promised locals to turn it into a park.

Traveling to Shar'ab Al-Rawnah requires fastening the belts as drivers get dizzy because of the bumpy roads, especially when the promises to tar the road, stretching for 28 km, have turned to be no more than lies despite the fact that first asphalting works were implemented in 1996. 

Few weeks before every new election, the contractor would bring his equipments and start working; however, he would stop as soon as election come to an end. This has prompted locals to call upon the authorities to conduct elections on a monthly basis so that asphalting process will be finished. 

After 13 years, Shar'ab locals have gotten frustrated and they no more ask about the project.

Babies delivered on pavements

Though it has a swift growth of population, the province has no hospital or medical center. Martyr Abdul Jalil Nasr Dispensary has nothing to do with health save the signboard.

Services provided by this dispensary are little and patient gets nothing. It only has a lab with no water services near it. The men are required to go to open areas to bring urine samples for tests and women are forced to go to nearby houses in such cases.

Moreover, five delivery cases were made outdoor because there was no one to receive them. The dispensary never works beyond the morning working hours. It has an x-ray and teeth apparatuses, but they are not used. It also provides vaccinations for children; however, this service is not free of charge as is the case elsewhere. 

State Property Centers for the Ruling Party

Lands belonging to the Endowments Ministry are being leased or sold to people who are loyal to the government. A few weeks ago, a small plot of land neighboring Mus'ab bin Omair School was leased by an official authority to an influential person. Immediately, he built seven commercial shops. The problem is not now in leasing, but rather that a road is being blocked because of the newly introduced building.

The government building which was built after the revolution by locals have turned to be a center for the ruling party, the General People Congress (GPC). The same applies to the building of the old court which has turned to be a residence of the secretary general of the local council. The Finance Office was built in the shape of a house, perhaps to turn later into a residence for any GPC official.

The Government Complex

The government building complex, designed to facilitate and help citizens and to comprise all administrations of local authorities, was built on the top of a mountain. Some citizens note that it was built there to be close to the son of a GPC Member of Parliament so he can directly and constantly observe it.

The District Administration "at Sheikhs' finger tips"

The chief of the district, the head of local council and the chief of security has secondary roles as they complement the role of sheikhs, influential people and chief of villages. 

At the request of sheikhs, some citizens are sent to prisons and the Chief of District can never say why or enquire into the matter. This reminds us of what the case was like 200 years ago. People are sent to prisons at sheikhs requests and they are also released at their orders, paying no attention to the laws and constitution.

Candles and Commercial Electricity

Prior to 1993 elections, Head of Shoura Council Abdul Aziz Abdul Ghani visited Shara'ab and stated then that electricity is in Al-Makha and it will reach the area soon; however, nothing has changed since then. People rely on lanterns and candles.

Social Welfare Allocations

Social welfare, which is insignificant, is used to suppress the poor citizen and it is used as a card during elections. Further, these small sums are not paid regularly; e.g. last Ramadan the payment was scheduled for Ramadan 20, but they were paid one month late. This forces some citizens to seek help from people close to payment committees in return for paying them one-sixth or one-third of the total welfare money reaching YR 6,000 that they receive monthly.