No singles

Muna Al-Fuzai

If you are married, then this article will not be of interest to you. It is about every person who is destined to be in Kuwait and his social status is that of a “bachelor”. This bachelor might be divorced or married in his country or single, but he lives alone in Kuwait, or is a Kuwaiti who wants to live separately from the family. These are people of different social statuses, as not everyone has to be married with kids. But, what I think is not related, as a decision has been taken and implemented.

It is clear that the Municipality and all concerned parties agree that unmarried people in private areas are not wanted and a mechanism has been defined in coordination and cooperation between the Municipality, the environment police and the ministry of electricity and water to control this issue. Also, legal measures have been decided – to impose environmental fines for damage to the infrastructure of services and the breaching of security and social aspects.

One of the measures is to speed up the process of power cuts by the ministry of electricity and water after issuing an ultimatum to the landlord to evacuate bachelors from his property. Real estate owners have been warned against attempting to install mobile generators after the power cuts.

Now that the decision has been taken, I really wonder what the alternatives are for these people. If the state decides to expel and prevent any single person from renting in private housing because he is a moral hazard and a threat, what is the alternative? Labor cities, maybe?!

The Municipality has told the media about procedures taken in cooperation with other government bodies to evict “bachelors” from private and model residence areas. There were previous government recommendations to allocate land to build temporary residences for company workers. The Cabinet asked the Public Authority for Manpower to coordinate with all government authorities to allow contracted companies to provide suitable residences for their workers within the area allocated for the project, until the labor cities are ready.

I accept this, but how about waiting until these labor cities are ready to take all those workers, instead of kicking them out now? And where are the workers’ cities? Are they ready to be the ideal alternative for single men? What are the conditions and specifications of these labor cities? Are they suitable for simple, low-income workers, or senior executives, for example? Is there a fee to rent there or is it free? Or the rent is paid by the companies that employ these workers?

Also, I suppose all services are available in these labor cities – a medical clinic, a pharmacy and public services, from public transport to taxis, because they may be far from the city. All these questions I consider as intuitive. Suitable alternative housing should be provided for singles expelled from their residences or unable to obtain housing even with the consent of the owner, who may see a person as respected and financially capable of renting, but the law prevents him because it sees this single person as a security risk even if he hasn’t even committed a traffic violation all his life. But this is the reality.

I think images of single men sleeping on the street or in their cars are unacceptable. No one talks about the role of the companies where these men work, because they are supposed to provide accommodation for them before bringing them to Kuwait. This is an issue that needs to be resolved.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
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