The Minister of Water Resources Mr. Ali Hammam reacted to the floods that affected several regions of the country, following the heavy rainfalls recorded last Thursday, considering that the extent of the damage is explained, in particular by the large and unusual amounts of rain that fell, reaching even 58 mm in some regions, such as the capital Algiers, in less than an hour.
However, Mr. Ali Hammam acknowledged that the poor maintenance of the street gutters is a factor in these damaging floods.
Speaking during an interview on Monday with Channel 1 of the national radio, he stated that the objective of his department’s services was to calculate major risks, in particular floods, in all technical studies, and stressed that these studies were based on perspectives of up to 100 years.
“The cause of the floods was first of all due to the heavy rainfalls that reached 57 mm in the capital’s municipalities of Kouba and 58.4 mm in Bir Mourad Raïs. This amount of rain recorded in half an hour is very rare,” he said, stressing in the same context the imperious need to clean up the various oueds or rivers at this time of year.
The minister further assured that his services are working in “close” collaboration with other relevant departments to properly prepare for the first autumn and even winter rains in order to ward off floods that could cause human and material damage.
With regard to interruptions and fluctuations in the supply of drinking water in some areas, Mr. Hammam admitted the “mismanagement” of these areas that is responsible for this adverse situation and openly criticized those responsible.
Referring to the current situation of dams, the first official in charge of the sector confirmed that the water level at dams has increased significantly and confided that the filling rate of dams reached 68% in early autumn, which announces an “abundance” of water for the winter.
It should be recalled that the torrential rains that fell last Thursday in Algiers caused an increase in the water level in the roads and streets of several municipalities as well as a paralysis of road traffic.
Torrential rains flooded several streets, houses and commercial premises, particularly in the municipalities of Bir Mourad Rais, Hydra, Ben Aknoun and Gué de Constantine, large parts of Central Algiers as well as Bab El Oued district.
Several vehicles were swept away by the surging waters at Frères Bouaddou Street in Bir Mourad Rais, causing panic among the inhabitants. There was even the death of a 21-year-old injured young woman after her admission to Mustapha Bacha Hospital in central Algiers.