For a country the size of Bahrain, you would think that improving the current infrastructure, to meet the rapidly increasing demand, wouldn't be too much of an issue. The country is small, the revenue stream is huge, and with access to cheap labor, advanced machinery and the latest technology, there really should be no excuse for situations like this:
Families are left without water for five days
RESIDENTS of a building in Adliya claim they have been left without water for several days with no explanation or assistance from authorities.
A resident told the GDN that she, with her 12-year-old son and other 12 families, have been left without water for the past five days.
The 33-year-old said she had constantly been trying to contact the Electricity and Water Ministry's emergency helplines 80001008, 17241111, 17727005, 17363636, but without success.
Now, this wouldn't be such an issue if it was an isolated incident, which it unfortunately is not. Water cuts in this country happen all the time, and I myself have had the misfortune of dealing with a 4 day water cut a few months ago. Not only that; the local citizens of Bahrain have gotten used to power cuts to their homes for hours at a time (and on some occasions, days), especially during the hot summer months. This has been going on for years and years, and ridiculous as it may sound, this has become a normal expectation for anyone living in Bahrain; sooner or later, you will get a power cut.
Now sure, we've heard news of plans for a new powerplant to be built in Ad Durr, which is definately long over-due. It's great that they've finally decided to do something about the situation, but did it really have to take this long for it to finally come into place? And by the time it's actually ready, by how much more will our power needs have increased? How about the water cuts; we haven't head anything being done about that?
Now, let's disregard the utilities for a moment, and let's take a look at another area of our infrastructure; the roads. Most of these were adequate to handle the traffic 10 years ago, but as the inflow of people into Bahrain increased, more people bought cars, etc etc, the roads became too tight to handle the congestion. Want proof? Pass by Diplomatic Area on your average working day, Exhibiton Rd on your average weekend night, and so on. A few years after the traffic next to the Seef Area became unbelievably ridiculous, a plan was set to open up the highway a little and build a flyover.
So great; that took a good two years to construct, and after being completed was adequate, but everywhere else in the country seemed to be neglected. Salmaniya Roundabout, Sitra causeway, Regency Intersection and so on. Again, only when these became ridiculously overcrowded to the point where you would want to kill yourself did plans to upgrade these appear. So far from the above list, the first one has been upgraded from a roundabout to traffic lights, which doesn't seem to have done too much for the traffic, the second is under renovation, which in turn has caused unbelievable jams, and the third, well, who knows when they'll consider doing something about it?
Now, all these points are superficial incidents compared to the overall brutal reality; Bahrain is at a scary stage of growth, we have thousands of investors pumping money into the country like there's no tommorow, and an increasing stream of people moving in. If we don't act now, and upgrade our infrastructure to handle not only the demand required for today, but the demand required for the next few years as well, we might be faced with disaster. Imagine the state of traffic just a few years from now? The power cuts?
And forget that; we have bigger and bigger buildings springing up faster than you can say 'Man, those are some big buildings', and that means; more facilities needed, more parking needed, more access roads, and more sewage lines..
Have those been considered? Seems like they haven't been. When you look at land reclamation in Tubli Bay (well, Tubli Swamp now), you realize that the after-effects of the land-filling was definately not taken into account. Don't even get me started on how the area smells, either. Are we going to have a similar dilemma after the construction on Manama's north shore is completed? How about with the other projects all over the Kingdom?
I'm not complaining about my own situation. God knows i've accustomed myself to the ridiculous traffic, gotten myself used to the water/power cuts, and understandingly expect the incompetency that follows any sort of upgrade to our infrastructrue. However, our country is inviting all sorts of investors, companies, projects, and tourists and foreign workers. If we're not careful, we just might turn around one day to witness all of it dissapear.