Al-Sawaber Complex in Kuwait city safe haven for prostitutes
Kuwait: Recently, MPs have discussed the issue of the AlـSawaber Complex in Kuwait City, which was provided to citizens looking for housing in the mid 1980”s. Residents have repeatedly brought their case ـ the state of disrepair and poor maintenance of the complex ـ to various MPs in an attempt to make it a national matter of discussion.
Al Watan Daily went to the AlـSawaber Complex, located in Sharq, and investigated the situation of the complex, finding the reports accurate and the complex unsuitable as a living space. Leaking water was visible greatly, both within the complex”s buildings and its exterior, the entrance cluttered with waste emanating an unpleasant odor, the elevators frighteningly old and most out of working order, and many of the walls covered in vandalism.
Mai, who has lived all her life in the AlـSawaber Complex, told Al Watan Daily: "During my childhood days, the place was clean and looked new, but now the complex has become unpleasant for people to live in. Back in the early days, there were shops in the complex and residents didn”t have to leave the building for groceries, but now since they have all shut down we have to buy all our groceries at the coـoperative."
She added, "In the early 90”s the complex was clean and it was safe for children to play on the grounds, but now it is unsafe for children as there is nobody to supervise them. The garden used to be beautiful, but now due to neglect, all the plants have withered away, giving it a very shabby look."
Ahmed, who also lives in the AlـSawaber Complex, said, "I came to stay here in 1991. At that time the building was not bad, but now the situation has gotten worse; there is no proper maintenance and we do not have a maintenance man, so when we need anything we have to do it ourselves. The entrances of most of the buildings are collapsing and it does not look like anyone has bothered to repair it, and even if we want to say something about it, there is no one to complain too."
Ahmed said that the problems began when there was a shift in the demographic of residents within the complex. "Actually, AlـSawaber started being neglected when the Kuwaitis started leaving their homes and renting them out to Asian nationalities. Since then, the situation has changed for the worse. More than 10 people stay in one apartment now, making the place unhygienic. They dispose of their rubbish on their neighbor”s doorstep, which fills the whole building with an unpleasant smell. Prostitution has become very common in the complex and the police are not doing anything about it," he said.
"These buildings were built for Kuwaitis to live in; I don”t know why they have been neglected in this way. I heard many rumors about the MP”s planning to remove AlـSawaber, but there has been no action taken yet. If they can not remove it, then they should at least consider supporting us with proper maintenance and repair the building”s damage."