If you walk for a few minutes in the afternoon to get to your car or to buy something from the grocery store, you will feel the scorching heat of the sun. You will not be able to bear the heat and will hasten your pace to get to the car or to a place where you can stay away from the sun. This is when you will think about the workers who have to work under the sun because they have no other choice.
We all know how these workers feel during Ramadan when they have to do their job under the sun. They wait patiently for a moment where they can be in the shade. Now let us think about the families who live in impoverished houses that have no cold air or water, no fridges to store food, no TV to watch and no computers.
Would you believe me if I said that some of our lower income brothers and sisters live in concrete houses where they have to put up with the scorching heat of the sun because they are not allowed to have electricity?
The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) will not hook up their homes to the national grid unless they bring an approval letter from the mayoralty and the latter says it has orders from the government to not provide electricity to these homes as they are often illegally built. Whatever the problem is, the reality remains that there are families in our society who do not have access to electricity and other basic amenities.
Shouldn’t there should be some kind of exception? Isn’t it unreasonable that authorities allow such families to suffer in the heat while the SEC and mayoralty play the blame game? If the regulations related to connecting impoverished homes are so strict, then why do dozens of such homes have electricity? Why is the SEC and mayoralty being selective in their discrimination of low income citizens?
Since Ramadan is around the corner, let me remind the SEC of the article I wrote last year about its emergency staff who were required to work eight hours a day during the sweltering Ramadan days. I would like to remind the company that there are several ways to reduce the pressure on the staff.
The company could distribute assignments in such a way that an employee works for two hours a day. The company can also increase their wages or give them the option of working every other day.
As for the houses that have been waiting for electricity, I hope that they will be connected to the national grid before the first day of Ramadan.