Article first published as Egypt: Torrential Rainstorms on Blogcritics.org
2010 is off to a disastrous start in many areas of the globe.
You have disasters of colossal magnitude, like that of Haiti, and you have other ,less monstrous, yet with equally important repercussions such as the torrential rainstorms that struck some of Egypt’s already poor and underserved cities in the Sinai Peninsula, and upper Egypt. Starting on January 18 and lasting for four days, flash floods in Egypt have left thousands homeless and starving, many injured and an uncertain number dead. It is worth noting that Gaza has also been struck by the downpour.
Egyptian authorities have allocated 25,000 L.E. (about 4,400 U.S.D) as a compensation for each family that has lost a home. Two blankets were also promised; the catch is that those stricken by the disaster have to present their national identity cards, which have been washed away along with all their belongings, to receive food and blankets!
The affected communities are outraged by the inefficiency of the relief efforts, and the delay in response. One of the heavily criticized issues is that building licenses were granted in areas around riverbeds known to be at peril in case of heavy rains and flood. The citizens are also concerned at the possibility of further damage if the Rawafe’ dam succumbs to a next wave of heavy rains.