After Cyclone Gonu made landfall in Oman on June 6, 2007 – which was then unprepared for its severity and intensity – and again severe cyclonic storm Shaheen in 2021, which too brought with it massive flooding, strong winds and thunder showers and now that the country is still healing from the current heavy downpours that have caused damages, it is time to rethink about creating proper water ways all over Oman.
As the rain poured recently, several residents struggled to commute and this has prompted commuters in Oman in general to call for permanent solutions to the chaos that normally hits during heavy rains.
“We get worried about the overflowing wadis when it rains. My family lives in Saham, and I go home almost every weekend from Muscat. I wish there was a permanent solution to this problem. We need a proper drainage system or small bridges over the wadis to keep traffic moving during heavy rains,” Ali al Badi, a Saham resident who works in Muscat, said.
Another commuter Salim from Al Rustaq said fears linger on his mind whenever it rains. “Whenever the forecasts of rains are announced, I get worried. It is very difficult to manoeuvre the roads when it rains. And the problem we do not know when the wadis would flow. So, I call upon the authorities concerned to look into the permanent solution. I would suggest bridges and culverts whenever the roads cross the wadis,” he said.
As rains become a more common phenomenon in the Sultanate with climate change, many say it is time to get permanent solutions to avert the chaos they encounter during heavy rains. "There is a lot of concrete, both on the ground and on rooftops. Concrete cannot be penetrated," Amour al Touqi, retired government employee, said.
"Rainwater does not soak into it and diverts to drainage systems, which frequently clog up as a result, causing the water to overflow onto sidewalks and streets. If left unchecked, floods will result. Sustainable drainage is a very logical idea. The suggestion is to replace impermeable surfaces with porous ones like grass and gardens. This will enable rainwater to percolate into the ground. The infiltration process keeps plant life alive as well," he added.