Saudi authorities have finalised plans for the implementation of housing projects for thousands of expatriate workers in Madinah as part of the kingdom's efforts to overcome the issue of overcrowding in the labour accommodations, said a report.
In April, Madinah Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman announced three pilot schemes to overcome the issue of overcrowding in the quarters accommodating workers from abroad, reported Arab News.
The initiatives have become even more important in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The three projects spread over 39,000 sq m will help eliminate 40 per cent of accommodation problems for foreign workers, it stated.
Al Khalil’s 976 units can lodge up to 3,000 workers and over the next 18 months five more housing sites will be developed by the private sector in coordination with Madinah municipality.
On the prince’s instructions, the workers’ housing committee swung into action to provide temporary hotel accommodation for workers in the city’s central region until alternative sites were ready.
"Overseas workers who have come to Saudi Arabia seeking a better life for themselves and their families were our responsibility, and we shall do everything in our power to keep them safe until they return to their homelands," remarked Prince Faisal.
The housing plan was conceived not only in recognition of the urgent public health situation, but also as a long-term solution to the challenge of accommodating the large number of workers employed on various projects in the holy city, said the Arab News report.
The authorities are also providing health care services to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among workers, and when cases were identified, medical services in coordination with the Madinah Health Affairs General Directorate, it added.