Ola Abdul Latif
Northern Ghor – Many families live in the Northern Ghor Brigade under the threat of the roofs of their houses collapsing at any moment, putting them in a state of constant fear and anxiety, requiring the utmost vigilance and vigilance, and any sudden movement of the walls, while the hours of sleep are considered the most terrifying, after they The souls of families are delivered to fate.
Incidents of the sudden collapse of the roofs of houses became evident in the district, after it recorded a number that was considered “alarming”. This summer has reached 20 incidents, although this number does not include all accidents, as some families keep the collapse. of the roofs of their houses a secret, for compelling reasons, Including the fact that the house is located on state land, and the lack of a building permit and engineering supervision.
In an ongoing search for the causes, experts attribute these collapses to various and multiple reasons, the most important of which are the nature of the sedimentary clay soil from which the area is formed, and the distribution of bear pits in the area, as the people of the Ghor Brigade depend to get rid of waste water on the construction of cesspools, which are very close to the foundations. Their homes are doomed to space limitations.
The phenomenon that may indicate a defect, its justifications by the relevant authorities are still contaminated with inaccuracies due to the absence of complete studies on the area. Some of the houses were built in the 1960s, in addition to the construction site and its proximity to wadis and water escapes.
By limiting the reports of the relevant authorities to the period during which the collapse incidents were seen, which does not exceed 5 months, there remains a missing link that raises the question of the reasons for the collapse of dozens of houses, especially during the winter season.
A source in the Directorate of Civil Defense in the brigade indicated that the directorate is following up incidents of house collapse in northern Ghor by investigating the collapsed houses after first helping the injured in case of injuries, providing first aid and evacuating the bodies in case of of deaths.
He emphasized that the tracing process is carried out together with various competent authorities, including the municipalities, the district administration, the Directorate of Social Development and Public Safety.
He continued that the report after detection by the relevant authorities will be submitted to the competent authority to take appropriate action.
He indicated that most of the reports confirmed that the causes of the collapse of houses, which amounted to more than 20 accidents this year, were due to poor construction and the location of houses near valleys and water escapes.
However, the social activist and head of a charity association, Khaled Al-Arabi, believes that the collapse of houses in the districts of Al-Liwaa, especially Al-Mashari’ area, has become a phenomenon that worries many residents, especially the lately This left many families with “heavy” losses, in addition to their scattering after finding themselves without a shelter.
And he indicated that the association, based on its management, cannot provide shelter to the families exposed to what he called “homelessness” due to the lack of a place to shelter them, stressing that the relevant authorities do nothing do more than simple in- kind assistance that does not meet the need and the extent of the disaster to which any family is exposed. The roof of her house is falling.
He appealed to the relevant authorities to always be on hand, and to prepare places for such emergencies to protect families from “homelessness”, explaining that most of the citizens in the district are unable to high cost houses for rent.
He explained that many families collapse their houses and do not review any relevant department, which means that the figures recorded by the official departments’ statistics on collapse incidents are inaccurate, suggesting that the number is very large.
Construction experts in the brigade believe that the causes of the collapse could be technical, such as a shortage of the amount of material required for the building process, such as cement, iron or sand. The reasons may be due to the age and location of the building, but they add another reason, which is the massive distribution of sinkholes, which threaten the foundations and bases of the building. As the water from these holes seeps into the sides of the houses and creates side cracks, then it spreads to the ceiling and suddenly the house falls on its inhabitants.
At the same time, a member of the decentralization committee for the northern Jordan Valley region, Oqab Al-Awadin, confirms that the municipalities of the district have asked the Ministry of Water Affairs and international organizations more than once to locate sewage in the area. to avoid the occurrence of many environmental problems in the region, such as the collapse of houses or the spread of skin diseases due to the spread of insects, in addition It leads to unpleasant smells, especially in summer, but the lack of the necessary funding prevents this, while the relevant authorities wait for support for the actual implementation of the sewer project.
An informed source also confirmed that the accidents of collapse are not limited to the winter season but that the spring and summer seasons witnessed accidents of house collapse but the winter season is where accidents increase due to the inability of the cesspools to the amounts of water flowing from the houses and from their roof gutters and from the sides of the main street, pointing towards The municipality supervises those houses and submits reports to the relevant authorities to take the appropriate action.
He indicated that one of these measures is to provide modest financial assistance, stressing that the repair process of the collapsed house is very expensive, beyond the means of the citizen in the valley.
According to a biological expert who prefers not to be named, the phenomenon of house collapse may be due to the nature of the sedimentary and disjointed soil in the Jordan Valley areas, noting that boreholes are also an important factor leading to to the collapse of these houses, because the process of building the hole is usually wrong and open, while the construction of the “dig” must be in the form of a reinforced box on four sides, for fear of leakage into the ground water and neighboring houses, especially the foundations of the house.
The expert added that each region has its own merits and each collapse has its own details, pointing out that the sinkholes are a big reason.
A source in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources indicates that the entire Jordan Valley area is located within what is known as the “damage crater” that stretches from the south of the Dead Sea to the north of Jordan.
He indicated that the nature of this region testifies to the movements of the Arabian Rift on the craters, and this puts the region at risk.
He added that the quality of the soil in the area contains clay minerals, which make it a cause for swelling or shrinking depending on the presence or absence of water, and this disrupts the composition of the soil and can affect the foundations of buildings, due to the location of the construction.
The source ruled out that the reasons for the collapse of the houses were due to the weakness of the materials used in the construction process, as much as the reason was due to the nature of the soil, stressing that the sinkholes were another danger for the buildings due to their water leaking into the ground and soaking it and thus swelling, while the hot summer season in the region constitutes a drought for this soil What works to shrink and these movements put buildings at risk.
He called for the need to conduct a comprehensive study and accurately identify the causes of the collapse of houses to avoid further collapse incidents.
Citizen Mahmoud Al-Khatib, one of the people whose house suddenly collapsed, and the repair process required an amount of 4,000 dinars, while the main reason behind the collapse has not been determined.
Al-Khatib says the ceiling of one of the rooms in the house suddenly collapsed and his son was injured in the face on the same day he was going to interview to work in a company, explaining that his son did not did not accept. the job because of the injury to his face.
Ali Al-Qwaisim from Al-Mashare’s neighborhood confirmed that his house was subjected to falling plaster and cracks in the sides of the walls about a month ago, pointing out that he relied on the traditional method in the construction process , who enlisted the assistance of a “construction teacher”, who determined the quantities of bricks, iron and cement based on his experience in construction. He indicated that he did not seek the help of an architect because of the financial costs, but after two years he noticed cracks and when asked by the “construction teacher” he replied that the house is in a very normal condition, but it was only a few days and the plaster of the house fell.
He continued, I carried out the repair process at my expense for fear of informing the municipality because I did not get a building permit or a work permit, and the house was built on state land.
Citizen Ali Al-Abbasi calls for the need to adopt an architect in the construction process through his presence in the municipality, and that the wages are suitable for the people of the area due to their difficult financial conditions, since the people of the district are suffering. of very difficult financial conditions that hinder their ability to seek the help of an engineering office.
Umm Hamad points out that the incidents of the collapse of the roofs of houses in the valley have made us live in a state of anxiety, fear and sleeplessness, and calls for a radical solution to the problem that hundreds of residents in the region are suffering from , explains that the problem occurs more during the winter because the cisterns do not absorb the amount of water that flows into them. This pushes water to the surface and then to the walls of houses.
She said that the winter season is around the corner, while anxiety will increase, and many families will remain under the threat of the sudden fall of the roofs of their houses, a feeling that cannot be lived with for long, while limiting the options is since the process of replacing homes is difficult and leaving is even more difficult.
Many families are living in a state of dispersion after their houses collapsed causing many losses as members of some families have resorted to charitable societies as a shelter for them until a solution is found and others have sought the help of relatives sought for fear of their little ones, while the financial conditions and the state of poverty they suffer from have changed through the upkeep of their homes.
A source from the Directorate of Social Development confirms that the role of social development is limited to participating in the tracing process, and the Directorate provides the urgent service, which provides shelter, which can be in associations, schools or mosques, since there are no houses that belongs to the Directorate which enables the Directorate’s cadres to deport those affected in the event of any natural calamity by providing basic materials for food, clothing and drink.
The directorate works to study the social situation of those families whose houses collapsed, and if the instructions of the Directorate of Social Development apply to them, the directorate carries out the necessary maintenance.
Until the causes of the phenomenon of house collapse are accurately established, hundreds of families remain in danger, watching for any sudden movement of the walls of their houses, while sleep is considered the most dangerous, and only Divine Providence remains over the lives of the entire families.