The unprecedented rainfall Kuwait experienced this year was seen by many as a blessing and its impacts are still being felt across the country. Many of the ‘lakes’ in the desert may have disappeared but acres and acres of dried out scrub brush, weeds and grasses that grew up all over the country during the rainy season are now dried out and dead, choking empty sand lots, roadside verges, highway meridians and junctions.
Join the Fifth Ring Road from Airport Road and in the cloverleaf junction you will find bushes grown knee high but all dried out and, possibly, a tinderbox fire hazard.
Similar patches of dried out grasses can be found all over Kuwait including in residential and commercial areas and along most of the main highways. These dried out grasses will only grow drier as the summer heat intensifies and even the smallest spark, a lit cigarette tossed from the window of a passing car, for instance, could ignite a blaze.
Kuwait Times asked the Fire Services Directorate for their view on the fire hazard. In response, the department informed Kuwait Times that the Ministry of Public Works was responsible for the issue. Calls to the Ministry of Public Works were not returned before this publication went to print.
Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat and Joseph Shagra