Poor roads burden Latakia residents

Potholes spread in the streets and sidewalks within the al-Zira'a and Awqaf neighborhoods in the city of Latakia – January 18, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

Potholes spread in the streets and sidewalks within the al-Zira'a and Awqaf neighborhoods in the city of Latakia – January 18, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

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The spread of potholes on the streets of Latakia city poses a significant obstacle for pedestrians, especially during heavy rainfall, as has been the case since the start of the rainstorm a few days ago.

One of the girls in the lively al-Zira’a neighborhood was compelled to stop for several minutes before daring to walk on a small fence near a large water pond resulting from a wide hole in the sidewalk.

Meanwhile, another young woman stood with a reporter from Enab Baladi, waiting for the street to clear of cars to cross the main road in the same neighborhood, because of the high density of water in the streets, meaning that nearby pedestrians get soaked by the splashing of passing, speeding cars.

Mania, 28, said that she preferred not to go to her formal job throughout the storm, adding that the consequences remain less severe than getting soaked and drowning, or having to buy medicine at exorbitant prices that exceed her monthly salary, which barely reaches 225,000 Syrian pounds.

Like Mania, many citizens stayed in their homes to escape the stormwater ponds in the streets and sidewalks throughout the city, while only those very much compelled left their homes.

Water-filled potholes have become a distinctive mark on roads and sidewalks, which cars and pedestrians try to avoid, but their large size does not help in dodging them, including a hole on Maysaloun Street.

Potholes in the streets and sidewalks within the al-Zira'a and Awqaf neighborhoods in the city of Latakia – January 18, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

Potholes in the streets and sidewalks within the al-Zira’a and Awqaf neighborhoods in the city of Latakia – January 18, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

Most residents believe that the presence of these pits in the streets and sidewalks is due to negligence and laxity, as filling them does not require much time or cost, knowing that they have been there for many years, and despite numerous complaints and demands, Latakia municipality does not respond by filling them and paving the street.

Potholes in the streets and sidewalks within the al-Zira'a and Awqaf neighborhoods in the city of Latakia – January 18, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

Potholes in the streets and sidewalks within the al-Zira’a and Awqaf neighborhoods in the city of Latakia – January 18, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

Each winter, scenes of rainwater accumulation in the roads of Latakia governorate repeat, causing floods in the streets and obstructing movement and traffic, and some of the potholes have resulted in fatalities.

In November 2022, a 25-year-old girl died after falling into a sewer hole in the city of Latakia.

At that time, the girl was reported missing at the site of a storm drain project at the intersection of project “B” with “Al-Thawra” highway, near the Al-Shabiba roundabout on the western edge of the city, after her mother was rescued at the location.

The incident of the girl’s fall and death elicited a significant response on social media, with blame placed on responsible parties, and broad accusations of “irresponsibility and disregard for people’s lives.”

Two days after the girl’s death, the head of the regime’s government, Hussein Arnous, and the Minister of Defense, General Ali Abbas, issued decisions to dismiss the “neglectful” individuals whose dereliction of duty resulted in the girl’s death.

Areas under the regime’s control witness almost annual flooding of this kind, as clogged storm drain holes cause paralysis of transportation and obstruction of citizens’ activities in those areas.

Potholes in the streets and sidewalks within the al-Zira'a and Awqaf neighborhoods in the city of Latakia – January 18, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

Potholes in the streets and sidewalks within the al-Zira’a and Awqaf neighborhoods in the city of Latakia – January 18, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Linda Ali)

 

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