|Photograph by AR Rajkumar/TIMES OF OMAN|
That is a lot of people. And a lot of businesses too. Like, A LOT of people live in those areas, at a total random guess I'd say easily in excess of 50,000 people but I have absolutely no idea - I wouldn't be surprised if the number was 5 times that. I'm aware of people in Khuwair that have not had water since Monday, but there are many people down in Ruwi and surrounding areas that have been suffering this water outage for a month.
Now, the definition of a Humanitarian crisis on Wikipedia is this:
A humanitarian crisis (or "humanitarian disaster") is defined as a singular event or a series of events that are threatening in terms of health, safety or well being of a community or large group of people. It may be an internal or external conflict and usually occurs throughout a large land area. Local, national and international responses are necessary in such events.
Now, the event of a water outage that is threatening literally thousands of people for a prolonged period of time, is, I think, what would make this situation, possibly, technically, a humanitarian crisis. Right? There's no shame in this, there's no point in pointing fingers and saying someone dropped the ball. The point is people have no water, and it's hot. REALLY hot. And people have no water to bathe or cook or flush their toilets.
Oman is blessed with probably the best Armed forces in the region, and the ROP certainly know how to organise a party too. Isn't the solution to this interim water "issue" (crisis?) quite simple? Can't the army or the ROP come in and organise regular water deliveries? I'd like to see the water tanker guys gouging the government like they do the poor residents of these affected areas. My faith in the organisation and logistical abilities of the Sultan's Armed Forces and the ROP is absolute in this regard, I absolutely know that they could handle this with ease.
Ramadan is coming, we've all seen the signs in the supermarkets (but I've not spotted a Vimto pyramid yet) and let's face it; people aren't known for being particularly efficient at working during Ramadan, And this one is going to be the longest days and hottest too in a very long time. Coincidentally this will be my 9th Omani Ramadan, and this will be the longest and hottest one I've been through.
So given that productivity takes a hit during Ramadan, there is going to be even more pressure on water deliveries, especially given that these water outages are expected to last for another three months (as reported in the Times of Oman on the 2nd of June).
Who can make the decision to sort this mess out? Can someone ask? Majlis A Shura make a suggestion? No need for finger pointing, let's just sort this mess out. Right?