MAKKAH — A report issued by the Civil Defense department in Makkah is warning against the danger of slums in mountain areas around Makkah.
Located mostly on the outskirts of the city, the slums were defined by the report as unauthorized make-shift residential areas that do not have proper municipal services.
The report indicated that the slums pose security, health and social risks due to the absence of proper roads and basic services such as healthcare, clean water and education. In 2011, a fire broke out in one of the slums and firefighters had great difficulty putting it out because it was difficult to reach the accident scene.
According to the report, the population density in the slums is 215 people per hectare compared to the population density in Makkah that is estimated at 101 people per hectare.
The slums are located inside the third ring line, representing the neighborhoods adjacent to the Central Area in each of the Misfalah (Dahleh Al-Rushd), Shabeikah, Sheab Amer, Tunzbawi, Sulaimaniyah, Al-Mabidah (Malawi – Al-Zaher – Khansah), Otaibah, Al-Hendaweiah (Ghorab labe), Al-Zaharrin, Goz and Al-Nakasah neighborhoods.
The report concluded that the construction boom in the holy city is out of control because of non-compliance with statutory laws and the absence of theoretical planning, which has, in turn, led to an increase in illegal structures and the spread of slums.
The report recommended that the slums, which pose a great fire hazard to residents and firefighters alike, be moved. It was also recommended that the National Water Company establish an integrated fire extinguishing network in all residential districts to dispense water during emergencies. — SG